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Full text of "A man without a memory, and other stories"



A MAN WITHOUT 
A MEMOIR 

BY 
WILLIAM HENRjr SHELTON 



^^%Lr^i^SL'^^^hid^iliSS^•'1^?^i?^t?5f5<>- iS^**itv^3^5T^ 







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LIBRARY OF THE COMMANDERY OF 
THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS MILITARY 
ORDER OF THE LOYAL LEGION OF THE 
UNITED STATES 

CADET ARMORY, BOSTON 



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A on A 



THE UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

LIBRARY 




THE WILMER COLLECTION 

OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS 

PRESENTED BY 

RICHARD H. WILMER, JR. 



/3-i: 



Digitized by the Internet Arcliive 

in 2010 witli funding from 

University of Nortli Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://www.archive.org/details/manwithoutmemoryOOshel 



A Man Without a Memory 

And Other Stories 



A Man Without 
a Memory 

And Other Stories 



BY 

WILLIAM HENRY SHELTON 



NEW YORK 

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 

1895 



Copyright, 1895, by 
Charles Scribner's Sons 



TROW OIREOTORT 

PRINTma AND eOORBiriDINij COMP*Ny 

NEW YORK 



To 
My Dear Friend 

Mrs. Louis Livingston Seaman 

who more than any other is 

interested in its publication, this book 

is lovingly dedicated 

January 21, 1895 



CONTENTS 



PACK 



A Man without a Memory, .... / 

The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree, 

{Born Greenleaf), 5/ 

Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy, . . . loi 

The Missing Evidence in " Tl?e People 

vs. Dangerking," I2y 

" The Demented Ones," 18) 

The Horses that Responded, . . . . 21 ^ 

" Lights Out ! 'Lii'beth Rachael," . . 229 

The Widow of the General, .... 24^ 

The Adventures of Certain Prisoners, . 26 y 



A Man without a Memory 



A MAN WITHOUT A MEMORY 



I WAS so completely at a loss about the 
points of the compass that while the sun 
was, perhaps, three hours above the horizon on 
my right hand, I had no means of judging wheth- 
er the time were nine o'clock in the morning 
or four o'clock in the afternoon. I was seated 
alone in a rickety old buggy, driving, or at 
least holding the reins over a horse evidently 
weak with age, whose only possible gait was 
a walk, except when at the foot of a hill his 
weakness yielded for a space to the pressure 
of the wagon and he fell into a listless trot, 
which presently subsided into the original 
walk. Where I had come from, or whither 
I was going, or where or how I had come into 
possession of the nondescript equipage, were 
alike unknown to me. The heat of the sun 
warmed me comfortably. The fields had an 
agreeable smell, and the oppressive stillness in 
which one of the wheels of the wasron creaked 



A Man without a Memory 



mournfully, and the hoofs of the old horse 
paddled the dusty road with shuffling beats, 
filled me witli a vague surprise, as if I had just 
awakened from a dream of turmoil, and had 
but half awakened at that, because I seemed to 
dimly realize that I was not yet in the full pos- 
session of my normal faculties. 

I was scarcely more ambitious than the horse 
which was drawing me. A vague idea that 
mine was a case of suspended animation began 
to take hold on my mind. How else could I 
account for my possession of the horse and 
wagon, and for my mysterious surroundings ? 
The only moving object in sight was a carriage 
behind me, which I could see contained two 
men, whose horse was making no better time 
than my own. The approach of the two men 
had no interest for me. I was struggling too 
hard to grasp myself. It was my recollections 
of the events which seemed to be last past, 
now growing rapidly more distinct, that were 
helping me to re - establish my identity. My 
eye fell on my left shoe, from which the sole 
was torn away at the toe, and straightway I 
remembered that the morning before I had 
struck it on a sharp stone imbedded in the 
road ; but then I had been marching with my 
companions with a gun on my shoulder, we 



RBC 
NcU 



A Man without a Memory 



had just passed at a swinging step through the 
long street of a village. I remembered the 
houses of stone and hewn logs standing close 
on the road, with closed doors and blinds, the 
cheering of the men belonging to other divis- 
ions who were lounging on the rough flagging 
behind their stacked muskets as we swung by, 
the crowds of officers and the ranks of held 
horses which choked the public square in front 
of the brick building where army head-quar- 
ters had been established. 

Then I remembered how, without a moment's 
rest or refreshment, we had been pushed to the 
front, to re-establish a yielding line. I could 
feel again the cold chill that ran through my 
hair as the first rifle balls whistled with a hot, 
spiteful sound past my ears, and then the excite- 
ment and exaltation when time flew with such 
unaccountable rapidity that a day, in passing, 
shrank to the dimensions of an hour ; while in 
recollection it was fraught with incidents suffi- 
cient to crowd a week, when, however you may 
account for it, early morning stumbled over 
midday without any perceptible interval be- 
tween, and you suddenly found yourself fam- 
ished and fell to eating with one hand in your 
haversack, and the other on your rifle. I re- 
membered that on this morning, which should 

5 



A Man without a Memory 



have been yesterday, I had been doing all these 
things — fighting, running, shouting, building 
up small granite ledges into breast-works, dimly 
conscious of the dead and wounded on every 
hand. The roar of artillery and musketry had 
been deafening, and the pungent sulphurous 
smoke rolled in white clouds along the crests of 
the fields, and rose like steam from the standing 
corn, hot and stifiingto breathe. How vividly 
the awful scenes surged up in my mind ! Where 
had I slept since ? I remembered that we had 
rallied and charged across the open ; what an 
intense relief I felt when the regiments had 
leaped down into a sunken road, and we took 
refuge behind the opposite bank. I could see 
the appealing eyes of the wounded boy lying 
close to the edge of the smoking grass, at whose 
body the rushing line had parted and closed 
again. I was panting, grimy and perspiring, 
against the gravelly bank. A thorn - tree 
spread its branches above my head, and the 
earth beneath me was strewn with green boughs, 
as if a tempest had been raging there. Through 
the rails of the low fence, I saw a shattered gun 
limber with one mangled horse leaning against 
the pole, his mates and masters heaped on the 
ground about him — the whole group cut sharp- 
ly against the sky. 

6 



A Man without a Memory 



I remembered how crowded we were in that 
narrow lane, and how grateful we felt for the 
rest and protection it afforded us in our exhaus- 
tion, as if we had been a great suffering body 
suddenly relieved of intense pain ; then how 
the drowsy sense of security was rudely dashed 
by the awful scream of a shell which came 
swelling from the front — hissing, rushing, roar- 
ing until, as it passed above the fences over our 
heads, it sounded like the flight of a steam- 
engine through the air. The cannoneers who 
were sending us these spiteful compliments from 
the crest of a distant hill, were beyond the reach 
of our rifles. If we looked over the bank we 
could see, at intervals, a puff of white smoke 
against the rim of the woods, and a hot flash of 
fire bursting through the small white cloud, fol- 
lowed by a dull report, and then the screaming 
crescendo of the oncoming shell which culmi- 
nated above our heads, and then died away be- 
hind us. Once a shell burst in front of our 
position, a cloud of dust floated over us, and a 
shower of leaves and branches fluttered down 
from the thorn-tree over my head. 

I remembered how we laughed and made 
light of this grim annoyance, and felt a renewed 
security in our natural earthwork, and counted 
with glee the splintered places on the board 



A Man without a Memory 



fence behind us. I remembered the first inti- 
mation of the attack of the infantry, coming in 
the form of a thin skirmish fire puffing from the 
crest in front — the balls pattering on the fences 
— then the dark line rising above the ridge, 
with flags and glittering bayonets — and then 
the onrush and the wild cheering — and then 
how we reserved our fire until they were close 
upon us — and how the line withered and broke 
under that smoking volley, leaving the wounded 
scattered on the hill, and how they came again 
and again only to be rolled back, covering the 
hill thicker and thicker with the dead — how 
we cheered and yelled and leaped on the fences 
at each bloody repulse — and how some of the 
wounded almost crawled to the shelter of our 
fence. 

I remembered how steadily they formed for 
the last charge just beyond the smoking weeds, 
in full view and in close range from our secure 
position, and how we laughed and jeered and 
admired them, and held our fire to give them a 
fiercer welcome than ever when they should 
come. Everything I saw and everything I 
thought in those critical moments seemed to be 
burned into my inemory. The familiar device 
of the old flag with the red stripes and blue 
field of stars, on which that broken line was 



A Man without a Memory 



dressing, carried me back to the days when I 
had cheered it and sang to it, as enthusiastical- 
ly as I now jeered it and cursed its upholders 
through the powder-blackened rails of the fence, 
and across the belt of smoke and fire which 
smouldered in the dry turf of the bank. 

Just as they started with a cheer, a gust of 
hot air swept the smoke in our faces, and im- 
pelled little tongues of flame to leap up and 
consume solitary dry weeds, and simultaneously 
we heard a blast of bugles from the right, and 
saw an awful vision of whirling horses gallop- 
ing and turning in a cloud of dust at the end 
of that sunken road. The sunlight flashed on 
brazen guns and polished tire, and the bobbing 
heads of the drivers, as they lashed their teams 
to the rear, passed and repassed each other like 
figures in a fiendish dance. I remembered that 
instant of horror which impelled some to spring 
on the banks and fences, regardless of the 
charging infantry, and completely paralyzed 
the faculties of others — the mingled cries of 
warning and reproach — a glaring burst of flame 
— a deafening roar, a benumbing concussion 
which for an instant made my head fill all space, 
and along with it a sickening sensation of 
drowning in the air, and then darkness. 

In the next instant, as it seemed to me, my 
9 



A Man without a Memory 



eyes opened dimly on a great field hospital. It 
was chill night, and men with lanterns were 
moving to and fro along the lines of wounded, 
and in and out of the lighted farm buildings. 
Ambulances were unloading, fires were burning, 
men were moaning, laughing, cursing, cooking 
— I smelt the fragrant odor of coffee and frying 
meat. I saw men with pale begrimed faces sit- 
ting up in the glare, exchanging canteens and 
wetting bandages. I heard moaning and talk- 
ing behind my head and the shifting of restless 
bodies on the straw. Just before me I saw the 
active figures of surgeons working over lighted 
tables. I was dimly conscious of all this, but 
without the power to speak or move. I could 
only see those objects which came within the 
radius of my limited vision, and the firelight 
shining up into the branches of the tall trees, 
and the quivering stars in the dark heavens be- 
yond, were more directly before my eyes. The 
men stretched close about me were utterly si- 
lent. I heard the wind soughing in the tree- 
tops and the tinkling of water in the spring- 
house sounding through groans and imprecations, 
and for once I seemed to hear with my parched 
tongue instead of with my ears. Outside the 
tantalizing tinkling of that water going to 
waste, I seemed scarcely interested in what was 



A Man without a Memory 

going on about me, and even to that I became 
more and more indifferent. A delightful leth- 
argy soothed my limbs and faculties. I was 
like one conscious of falling asleep. 

The attendants from the tables brought an- 
other body and laid it down beside me. I knew 
that I lay in a row of such ; I was indifferent. 
The men retired whence they came, the busy 
surgeons vanished, the firelight died out in the 
tree-tops, the twinkling stars paled in the heav- 
ens beyond, the tinkling water sounded farther 
and farther away, as if the spring-house had 
been retreating up the hill— and darkness en- 
veloped me again. 

I had shut my eyes to recall this vision, and 
presently they reopened on the jogging horse 
and the sunlit road, and I experienced the 
sensation of relief that comes to one awaking 
from a frightful dream. The dry hub was 
creaking as before, and the jingling bolts and 
rattling thills had a delightfully reassuring, even 
a musical sound. I alighted and walked around 
my turnout. It was dilapidated surely, and 
muddy as country vehicles are apt to be. I 
had not thought of my gun before, but to my 
inexpressible relief the barrel of a musket pro- 
truded from the boot, lying sofdy across a coil 
of blanket. I recognized neither of these prop- 
II 



A Mail without a Memory 



erties as my own ; even my belt and cartridge- 
box had a strange look, but these equipments 
might have been changed in hospital or supplied 
to me after my recovery. I certainly had re- 
covered. The recollection of the fragment of 
shell which had struck my head in the sunken 
road came vividly to mind, and I instinctively 
plucked off my Jiat and passed my other hand 
softly over that part of my scalp where I thought 
the wound should be. I rather expected to feel 
a mass of clotted hair, but instead my fingers 
brushed over a surface as smooth and polished 
as ivory ; but there was indeed a tender place. 
The surgeons had shaved my head in the proc- 
ess of recovery. I must have been insensible 
for a considerable time. 

The old gray horse was stamping his feet 
and shaking his headstall at a green fly which 
was buzzing about his withers, and he had 
whisked the reins into the road while I had 
been examining the wagon. The harness had 
high, rusty hames and a saddle surmounted 
with square, tarnished german - silver turrets, 
and was altogether as antiquated as the wagon. 
It was all beyond my understanding, and the 
two men following me in the carriage had been 
halted all this time, in the most exasperating 
way. 



A Man without a Memory 



I had but one desire, which was prompted 
by my sense of duty in the matter of returning 
promptly to my regiment. In that respect my 
conscience would be satisfied, if only I used 
my best endeavor to return ; so I gathered up 
the reins and took my seat in the wagon, and 
the old horse cheerfully resumed his walk. 
My late experience with my command had 
been so terrible, that I was forced to admit 
to myself the relief I felt in my present peace- 
ful surroundings and comfortable style of 
marching. 

The sun on my right hand was lower than 
when I had first noticed it. It was certainly 
declining. That, then, was the west, and I 
was driving into the south. I preferred to 
drive south. I felt some surprise at the warnith 
of the evening, but everything was disjointed 
and surprising. In front of me was a broad 
wheat-field where the yellow bundles lay thick 
in the stubble between the strips of green 
oats, and at the farther end men and boys were 
gathering the sheaves into stacks. How could 
this be, when yesterday had been September ? 
Alongside this field was another field of young 
corn, its dark-green stalks not yet tassled out. 
Yesterday the ears had been hard as flint, and 
long past roasting. I could endure this com- 

13 



A Man without a Memory 



plication of mysteries no longer. I would stop 
and consult the men in the carriage behind 
me. When I stopped, they halted again as 
before. I started back on foot, leaving my 
wagon in the road. Seeing this, the carriage 
came on at a trot until it reached my position, 
when it slackened to a walk as it reined out to 
pass me. The two gentlemen stared at me in 
a most remarkable way, bowed solemnly, and 
would have passed without a word, if I had 
not begged them to tell me where the road led 
to. "The very question we were about to 
ask you," said the one who held the reins, and 
then the two exchanged glances. After they 
had passed me, they threw up the top of the 
carriage, and I had no doubt they were watch- 
ing me through the oval window in the back 
curtain. 

I felt a conviction that I must be in the 
enemy's country. The carriage drove on at a 
brisk pace, but somehow it never quite disap- 
peared from my view ; or if it did sink into a 
depression or pass behind a clump of trees, it 
presently reappeared, going on as before. 
Once I saw the head of the driver thrust out- 
side the leather top, apparently to speak to a 
friend who was passing in my direction on 
foot. The man halted a moment and then 

14 



A Mail without a Memory 



came on. He was evidently a young farmer 
returning from work, for he carried a cradle on 
his left shoulder, his right hand grasping the 
back of the scythe-blade which swept diagonal- 
ly around his right hip. As he approached 
nearer, I observed with satisfaction that his 
face wore a pleasant quizzical smile. "Can 
you tell me," I said, and at the sound of my 
voice my horse ceased to walk ; " can you tell 
me where this road leads? " 

His smile broadened to a grin ; his right 
hand left the scythe-blade to tilt his wool hat 
forward, until I could just see his eyes glitter 
underneath the brim. 

*' When, in the name o Gord,'' he cried, 
" did you come to life, Tonn Johnson ? " 

I was staggered at what the man said, but I 
was more angered at his insolence. 

"You haven't answered my question," I 
roared, half starting from my seat, at which the 
old horse resumed his walk as if I had spoken 
to him, and the man, with the same exasperat- 
ing smile on his face, shouted " Good-by, 
Torm. The road leads to the river if you go 
far enough." 

I had not thought of myself as Tom John- 
son, and yet that was my name. Strange to 
say, my mind had not gone back of the ab- 



A Man without a Memory 



sorbing events of the battle. I had thus far 
only considered ni3^self as a convalescent sol- 
dier returning to his regiment, which I seemed 
to have left but yesterday. A longer time 
must have elapsed, for the seasons had changed 
— they had even gone backward in the most 
perplexing way. I passed my fingers again 
over the tender spot on my head and across 
the polished surface above. 

Tom Johnson ! My name came to me like 
a revelation, as if its familiar sound had not 
fallen on my ears for ages, and at the same 
time it connected me with a past to which I 
wished to return even more than to my regi- 
ment. It brought to me the picture of my 
young wife, standing at the entrance to the 
drive which led back to our home, and beside 
her, little Tom crowing in his old mammy's 
arms. I had fallen out of the dusty ranks to 
kiss her tearful face and the rosy mouth of 
baby Tom, and that had been only the day 
before the battle. Alec, the third, sat erect 
on the hammer - cloth, holding the reins 
over the coach-horses behind, and completing 
the family group. I remembered his familiar 
voice calling after me : 

" Take keer yo'sef, Marse Torm." 
My mind had burrowed back, at last, to the 
i6 



A Man without a Memory 



centre of my world — to the mainspring and 
motive of my patriotic action. Through the 
dust of the column, to which I was obliged to 
return hastily, for we were advancing to give 
battle to the enemy and straggling was only 
permitted to those who fell from exhaustion — 
I waved a last farewell to the group of loved 
ones whose defence made my service a holy 
crusade. My State was my country, and my 
country was the sky above and the earth under- 
neath the feet of that sacred life which had 
given itself to me, and that other wonderful life 
to which our lives had given being. I was the 
defender of a hearthstone, the champion of a 
gentle mother-spirit, whose innermost thoughts 
I had shared and whose prayers for my cour- 
age and safety were constantly ascending like 
incense — and of a small unconscious life which, 
even if I fell, would live on to call my memory 
blessed. 

Where was my regiment ? I felt a sort of 
frenzy to regain that post of duty. What vic- 
tories had my comrades won in my absence ? 
A sense of shame overcame me that I should 
be crawling along over that peaceful country 
road, lulled to indifference by the drowsy in- 
fluences of the evening — I, the Defender and 
the Champion ! 

17 



A Man without a Memory 



A child was coming across the field in firont 
of me, but before I had approached near 
enough to speak to her, she fled back as if I 
had been some dangerous animal. The car- 
riage, with its mysterious occupants, was still 
crawling into the distance. The moon was 
rising on my left, for the sun had already gone 
down over opposite. The stars were appear- 
ing overhead, and a ruddy light illumined the 
window of a small house by the roadside, to 
which my weary horse was advancing with the 
old monotonous walk. 

The light from the window lay out on a 
toll - bar which spanned the turnpike. I in- 
stinctively put my hand in my pocket and 
drew out a small roll of bills, which looked 
quite natural and blue in the warm firelight 
from the doorway. I was about to tender one 
to the woman who appeared, with a scared 
look, and extended her hand to the cord 
which hung from the pulley before the door. 
"There's nothing to pay," she said. The 
toll-bar was rising for my passage. 

''Where does this road lead, Madam?" I 
exclaimed, bending eagerly forward to catch 
her reply. 

"I am not to tell you," she said, and the 
door of the toll-house closed with a bang. 



A Man without a Memory 



The old horse walked on of his own monot- 
onous will, out of the shadow of the house into 
the moonlight. The dry hub creaked and 
groaned like a living thing in agony, and the 
loose bolts and linchpins jingled in harsh coun- 
ter-notes of derision. 

I was on the verge of despair. Was all the 
world leagued against me ? Men, children, 
and women avoided me as if I was a leper. I 
was Tom Johnson, a highly respectable citizen, 
bearing arms in the defence of his country, 
hopelessly lost in that or some other country, 
where I had as yet seen no soldiers or any 
signs of their recent passage or occupancy. 
The old horse broke into a gentle trot along 
the descending grade, as if it had some intuition 
of a camp in advance. Perhaps he was right, 
for lights were sparkling among the trees be- 
yond. There was something about the road 
which seemed familiar, and yet in many re- 
spects it was unlike any road I had ever seen 
before. A clump of oaks crowned the knoll 
before me, and the walls of a building gleamed 
in the moonlight through the tree-trunks. It 
was a low, whitewashed church, clean, silent, 
deserted. At first I was sure I had been stand- 
ing in the same place before it yesterday ; but 
there was no gaping hole above the door as 

19 



A Man without a Memory 



there had been then, and its walls should be 
pitted by the iron hail. Even the woods 
which formed a thick screen behind it had van- 
ished. Was I dreaming? The fields opposite 
were inclosed Avith trim, well-kept fences, and 
the hills were thickly dotted with shocks of 
newly cut wheat, which perfumed the dewy air 
with the odor of moist straw. Yes, I must be 
dreaming. There was a spell of witchery over 
the land — the stars were not behaving — the 
moonlight was certainly playing pranks, for 
above the trees on the highest ground to my 
left, the gray ghost of a gigantic soldier reared 
its huge head and shoulders, gleaming and im- 
movable. 

I was Tom Johnson, and beyond that every- 
thing was disjointed and uncertain. I rubbed 
my eyes and looked again at the big soldier. 
There it stood as before, leaning on a gun, and 
so much as I could see of this figure, or appari- 
tion, above the tops of the trees, was as clearly 
cut against the sky as if it had been carved in 
stone. 

The carriage which had so long preceded me 
had finally disappeared among the trees where 
the lights were sparkling. Much as I feared 
and distrusted its inmates, I felt impelled to 
follow it as the only moving thing I had to tie 



A Man without a Memory 



to, and the two men, whether friends or ene- 
mies, seemed in some way linked to my help- 
lessness. 

Presently I came creaking and jingling into 
a village street flanked with stone houses, where 
the moonlight broke so fantastically through 
the trees, gleaming on white dresses peeping 
out of masses of shadow, and mingling with 
red lights shining through windows and doors 
onto other figures, walking, talking, singing, 
laughing, listening to or not heeding the 
wheezy notes of a cracked melodeon on one 
side of the street and a rioting violin on the 
other side — the moonlight everywhere so un- 
certain, and so bewildering, and so mislead- 
ing that the faint sense of familiarity with the 
street eluded me like a will-o'-the-wisp; and 
yet, somehow, it seemed that the soldiers had a 
right to be there — that the violin should be a 
bugle, and that a respectable drum could give 
points to that melodeon, and that the long roll 
might beat at any moment along that shadowy 
street. 

As I came creaking and pondering into the 
market square, where the line of the houses 
was forced a little back to the advantage of the 
sidewalks, or rather the flagged plaza into 
which those thoroughfares spread out, the moon 



A Man ivithoiit a Memory 



poured its unobstructed light onto the gable 
end of the very brick building which I had 
seen yesterday — (the only yesterday I knew) — 
gay with head-quarter flags and glittering uni- 
forms — the turf and flagstones crowded with 
restless horses, and a great Confederate banner 
floating above the roof. 

I was in Sharpsl>u?'g. 

I leaped out of the wagon and seized my rifle 
and coil of blanket. The long tavern stood 
opposite, and under the buttonwood -tree which 
overspread the rough flagging, a group of men 
lounged in chairs and on benches, while a iew 
others could be seen inside at the dimly lighted 
bar. 

' ' When did General Lee leave here ? " I 
cried, as if I had been summoning the garrison 
to surrender. The battle spirit had complete 
possession of me for a moment, and the butt of 
my gun rang down on the pavement, striking 
sparks of fire from the flinty stone. 



n 

THE carriage which had followed Tom 
Johnson's humble outfit out of Hagers- 
town, passed it on the turnpike, and finally pre- 
ceded it into Sharpsburg, had contained an em- 
inent surgeon and a physician, well known in 
western Maryland. The two medical men had 
alighted at the tavern opposite to the red brick 
building, which had been Confederate head- 
quarters, and, after greeting the host, had 
seated themselves on a bench near the main 
entrance, and just out of the radiance of the 
oil-lamp which hung over the bar-room door 
and shed a ruddy light on the rough flagstones, 
even out to the feet of the group of loungers 
under the buttonwood - tree. The horse and 
carriage had gone around to the stables, and 
the reserve of the medical gentlemen had been 
respected to that degree that the only evidence 
of their presence inhered in two burning stars, 
which gleamed from the deep shadow thrown 
from the end of the adjoining building, which 
stood forward on the line of the street, and in 

23 



A Mail without a Memory 



the fragrant odor of the cigars which the afore- 
said medical gentlemen were smoking. The 
tavern-keeper, having for the moment no drinks 
to mix, stood in his shirt-sleeves in the bar- 
room door, and stood also in some obscurity, 
as the bottom of the big lamp over his head 
was not made of glass, and the light behind 
him on the bar Avas of the dimmest radiance, 
and served only to illumine his back. The 
cool air of the evening after the heat of the day 
had the effect of emptying the grim stone 
houses onto the grim stone flagging outside the 
doors, under the thick trees where there was 
sparse light of an artificial sort, outside of the 
rays of moonlight which found their way here 
and there through the leafage ; and this was 
the drowsy condition of the sleepy old village 
when the creaking and jingling outfit of Tom 
Johnson came at a snail's pace up the street, 
the white horse showing particularly white as 
he crossed the occasional patches of moonlight, 
and finally came to a stand in the full light be- 
tween the tavern and the red brick building 
over opposite. The peculiar appearance of this 
singular visitor sufficiently excited the curiosity 
of the villagers to bring men, women, and 
children trooping up the street on both sides 
to the market square, where they were rapidly 
24 



A Man without a Memory 



assembling when the butt of Tom's rifle rang 
down on the pavement and he propounded his 
starthng question. The loungers under the but- 
tonwood-tree stood up in silent amazement, and 
the circling crowd gazed dumbly at this lonely 
and belated Confederate soldier standing before 
them in his gray uniform and dusty equipments. 

Tom Johnson looked somewhat dazed as he 
confronted this formidable assemblage, made 
more formidable to him by the unwonted 
presence of so many pretty girls, while at the 
same time he had good reason to be vexed at 
the staring crowd and at the absence of any re- 
ply to his ringing question. 

"What ails you all?" said he, in milder 
tones than he had at first used, and evidently 
in deference to the presence of ladies, and then 
turning to survey the crowd which completely 
encircled him: " Am I such a curiosity that 
you can't answer a civil question? " 

" You ruther took us by surprise," said the 
tavern-keeper, who stood in the front rank of 
the crowd directly confronting Tom. 

"You keep this hotel, I reckon," said Tom 
Johnson, looking straight across into the other's 
eyes. 

"That's so," responded the tavern-keeper, 
" there's no doubt about that." 



25 



A Mail -uoiiboiit a Memory 



"Then please to tell me how long it is 
since General Lee left this town ?" and Tom 
paused impressively for the expected answer. 

" Well, I'll have to figure a httle," said the 
tavern-keeper, scratching his head. " Let me 
see; it's '92 now. Well, I reckon it'll be 
thirty years next September since he pulled out 
o' this town." 

Tom Johnson was staggered for a moment 
by the wildness of tlie tavern-keeper's mendac- 
ity, and then his face flushed several shades 
redder than it had been in the lamplight. 

" You are the most monumental — beg your 
pardon, ladies," said Tom, glancing around, 
" I won't say what he is. I reckon he's been 
drinking too much of his own liquor." 

"Where did you come from?" said the 
tavern-keeper, taking Tom's implication in 
excellent part. 

"I came from hospital," said Tom John- 
son, with a shade of helplessness in the tones 
of his voice. 

" What hospital? " said the tavern-keeper. 

Tom Johnson was forced to admit that he 
did not know, and, moreover, he didn't know 
when or how he came in possession of the 
horse and wagon which still stood in the road 
where he had left them. He said that he had 
26 



A Man without a Memory 



had some trouble with his head, and with that 
he took off his hat so that the lamplight fo- 
cussed on his baldness, and ran his fingers ab- 
sently over the polished surface in seardi of 
the soft spot. 

" Take that white horse around to the 
stable," said the tavern-keeper to the hostler, 
"and lock him up." And then addressing 
Tom: "Don't you reckon you'd better come 
in and have somethin' to eat, comrade? " 

Tom Johnson began to feel faint with hun- 
ger at the very mention of food, and he was 
so perplexed and mortified at his inability to 
account for himself that he was glad of any 
excuse to escape from the crowd, and so he 
followed the tavern-keeper into the bar-room, 
while the villagers surged up to the door and 
the open windows. He walked directly across 
to the bar and ran his eye over the bottles. 

"Hand me that decanter of brandy," he 
said, as he leaned his gun against the wall, 
and ran his fingers once more over his bald 
head. After he had taken a moderate drink 
of the liquor diluted with water, he put his 
hand in his trousers' pocket and produced the 
roll of blue bills he had taken out at the toll- 
gate, and threw one down on the bar with the 
evident satisfaction of a man who can at least 



A Man without a Memory 



pay his own way, if he is a httle dazed about 
where he came from. 

" What's that ? " said the tavern-keeper, 
picking up the bill and turning it over under 
the lamp, and then tossing it back. " Is that 
the kind of money you carry ? ' ' 

" It's good enough for me," said Tom John- 
son, whipping it into his pocket. " I don't 
carry Federal rags. ' ' 

The tavern-keeper thrust his hand into his 
own pocket and drew out a double eagle and 
rang it down on a copper tray under Tom's 
nose. "That's the kind o' money we use 
around here," he said, triumphantly. 

Tom Johnson felt of his head, picked up the 
yellow coin, turned it over in his hand, looked 
at the face and read the inscription, and then 
his eye fell on the date. " It's no good," said 
he. "Look at the date — eighteen hundred 
and eighty -thr-ee.'" 

"That's all right," said the tavern-keeper. 
" It's nine year old, but it's good, and don't 
you forget it." 

"It's brass," cried Tom Johnson, indig- 
nantly, as he threw the coin down on the 
counter. " I may have been out of my head 
for quite a while — in the hospital — maybe for 
weeks, but that's no reason why everybody 
28 



A Man without a Memory 



should be in a conspiracy to make game of me. 
I think you said supper was ready." 

Tom Johnson picked up his gun in view of 
the troublous times and followed the tavern- 
keeper into the dining-room. 

Now, this tavern - keeper had a beautiful 
young daughter, with large lustrous eyes and a 
complexion like peaches and cream, and as 
soon as Tom was comfortably seated at table, 
he heard the musical voice of this lovely creat- 
ure behind him : 

' ' Would you wish tea or coffee ? ' ' 

"What!" cried Tom. "Why, coffee, of 
course. I haven't tasted coffee in a year," 
and then he turned about until his eye fell on 
the sweet girl-face, which blushed red under 
his ardent gaze. 

"Pardon me, my dear," said Tom, falling 
back in his chair and raising his hand to his 
head. "Your daughter," he continued, ad- 
dressing his host, " reminds me of my young 
wife. She's an angel, sir, and God forgive 
me, I haven't thought of her or of the baby 
since I got out of that wagon. I must leave 
here early in the morning. I saw her only a 
few days ago when we came this way. Ah, sir, 
you should have seen her standing there by the 
road and that little rascal, Tom. See here, 



29 



A Man without a Memory 



old man, you must call me early. I'll find 
little Tom or the Thirteenth Virginia before 
night. That's my regiment, the old Thir- 
teenth, and hurrah for old Jack ! " 

" Why didn't you say you belonged to the 
Thirteenth before," exclaimed the tavern- 
keeper. "We've got a Thirteenth man here 
in town. Do you happen to remember Pete 
Suavely ? " 

"Remember Pete!" cried Tom Johnson, 
pausing for an instant in his eager feeding, 
"I know him like a brother. We belong to 
the same company. Wounded ? ' ' 

" No," said the tavern-keeper, regarding 
his mysterious guest with a look of wondering 
compassion ; " there's nothing the matter with 
Pete. Helen," he continued, turning to his 
daughter, " send around for Pete Suavely, and 
tell him there's a friend o' his wants to see 
him." 

Pete Suavely needed no sending for, as he 
had been in the crowd from the first which had 
welcomed Tom Johnson, and was prominent 
in the bar-room at that very moment, awaiting 
the return and discussing the appearance of our 
hero ; and, I am sorry to say, holding very un- 
complimentary opinions touching his sanity, 
and his property rel tions to the white horse. 

30 



A Man without a Memory 



Pete was a grizzled old veteran, who had a 
museum of relics in the basement of the ad- 
joining house, and who, by virtue of his long 
service as battle-field guide, affected brass but- 
tons and a nondescript uniform, which might 
suggest both or neither of the old armies. He 
was so tall that he had to double himself up 
like a jack-knife when he descended into his 
curiosity shop, and so lank and lithe that it 
cost him no trouble to accomplish that feat. 
Pete Snavely, who stood head and shoulders 
above the crowd in the bar-room, was engaged 
in conversation with the doctor and the sur- 
geon, alongside the bagatelle table in the cor- 
ner, when the tavern-keeper entered, followed 
by Tom Johnson, eager to meet his companion 
in arms. 

" There he is," cried the tavern-keeper, in- 
dicating Pete, who stepped briskly forward 
into the centre of the room. "That's Pete 
Snavely, of the Thirteenth Virginia." 

A shade of disappointment passed over Tom 
Johnson's face, which was followed by a flush 
of anger. "What! That old codger ? He's 
old enough to be Pete Snavely 's grandfather," 
and he struck the butt of his gun on the floor 
and looked Peter over with an expression very 
much akin to disgust. " He's no comrade of 

31 



A Man without a Memory 



mine. The Thirteenth Virginia was never ac- 
cused of robbing the grave for recruits." 

Now, Pete was good-natured and, moreover, 
he beUeved Tom to be mildly demented, so he 
smiled blandly at the uncomplimentary speech 
and surveyed the speaker with a like insolent 
coolness. 

" Well, now, see here, stranger," drawled 
Pete, at length, "how young do you allow 
yourself to be ? " 

" I'm not ashamed of my age," said Tom 
Johnson. "I'm twenty-three." 

" You're about the maturest infant I ever 
seen," drawled Pete. "Git out o' the way, 
boys, and let the young gentleman look at 
himself in the glass." 

At this suggestion the crowd stood aside, 
and Tom Johnson, who had just taken off his 
hat to pass his hand over his head, and who 
was carrying his gun at a trail, walked deliber- 
ately over to the looking-glass hanging against 
the wall. Those who stood nearest to him 
said that his face turned white, at first, at sight 
of the grizzled and bald-headed image reflected 
in the mirror, and then he flushed red to the 
tips of his ears, as with a curse he dashed the 
glass to atoms with the muzzle of his rifle and 
staggered back into the arms of Pete Suavely. 

32 



A Man -without a Memory 



" Never mind the looking-glass," said the 
physician, who, with his friend, the surgeon, 
had been a deeply interested observer of this 
strange meeting between Tom Johnson as he 
was and Tom Johnson as he supposed himself 
to be. " Our patient is a little over-excited," 
he continued, stepping promptly forward and 
relieving Pete Suavely of his burden. 

Tom Johnson yielded completely to the in- 
fluence of these men, although he had no recol- 
lection of ever having seen them before, except 
when they had passed him in the carriage on 
the road. There was something soothing in 
the touch of the Doctor, and poor Tom, who 
had been dazed and puzzled and balked at 
every turn since he had first discovered himself 
in the wagon, was completely crushed by this 
last experience. His physical strength seemed 
to have undergone a complete collapse, until he 
was like putty in the hands of this strange doc- 
tor, whom he obeyed like a child. 

" He must go to bed now," said the Doctor, 
" and have a good night's rest," and to this 
quiet decision Tom Johnson made no resistance, 
except to feebly reach for his gun, which had 
fallen from his grasp in the reaction which fol- 
lowed his ebullition of passion. 

The tavern-keeper lighted a candle and led 

33 



A Man without a Memory 



the way to a chamber, where he remained with 
the Doctor until Tom was laid safely and com- 
fortably in bed. As the tavern-keeper lingered 
behind to fetch the candle, Tom rose weakly on 
his elbow and called after him : " Good-night, 
old man ; don't forget to call me early in the 
morning. I want to find her and little Tom." 

The Doctor slept in a room adjoining and 
commanding the only entrance to that of his 
singular patient, and he took good care that 
no one should disturb him. 

Tom Johnson slept heavily after his strange 
experience, and when he awoke, with a re- 
freshed and clarified brain, he began, at least, to 
realize that he was no longer a young man, and 
to adjust some things, albeit lamely, to that es- 
tablished fact ; for when the Doctor looked in 
on his patient at sunrise, he found him seated, 
half-dressed, before a small mirror which stood 
on a chair, and if his face was not the picture 
of satisfaction, he showed no disposition to quar- 
rel with the image the glass revealed. 

" What does it all mean ? " said Tom, help- 
lessly. " It's a terrible thing to grow old in a 
single night." 

" How old were you on the day you were 
wounded?" asked the Doctor, laying his sooth- 
ing hand on Tom's shoulder. 

34 



A Man without a Mentory 



" I was twenty-three a few days ago, when I 
was killed," replied Tom, looking steadfastly at 
the image of the old fellow in the glass. 

" And what year was that?" continued the 
Doctor. 

"It was '62," said Tom Johnson. 

"And it is '92 this morning," remarked the 
Doctor, keeping a steady eye on his patient. 

" '92 ! " exclaimed Tom Johnson, looking 
hard at the Doctor and making a mental calcu- 
lation with the aid of his fingers. " '92," he 
repeated, looking back at his grizzled image in 
the glass, " that accounts for that old beggar I 
have been studying since daylight. But for 
God's sake, Doctor," he exclaimed, springing 
to his feet, " where have I been in that interval 
of thirty years ? How old am I now ? Not 
fifty-three ? ' ' 

"Yes, my friend," said the Doctor, laying 
his hand on his patient's arm, which had the 
effect of soothing him. "You are fifty-three, 
and during that long interval, dating from the 
day and hour when you received your wound 
on this field, Vou have been a man without a 
memory. During all that time your life has 
been to yourself a blank, and I must tell you 
at once that you owe your restoration to the 
skill of that great surgeon whom you saw in my 

35 



A Man without a Memory 



company yesterday. Be calm and listen. But 
for his skill, which has relieved your brain from 
the pressure of the misplaced bone, and whose 
watchful care, through fever and unconscious 
suffering, has brought you quietly back to this 
scene of your injury, your life would still be a 
blank." 

Tom Johnson gazed speechless into the Doc- 
tor's face as he made this amazing statement, 
and then his unconscious hand stole softly to 
his head. 

The Doctor forbore to break the silence, 
holding his patient under his kindly gaze. 

" Praise God ! " exclaimed Tom Johnson at 
last, rising and grasping the Doctor's hands. 
" You have brought me back to life. You have 
rescued me from a living grave — Praise God ! 
But where have I been, Doctor, during all 
these years ? ' ' 

" With your family at your old home, sur- 
rounded with every comfort " 

" Have mercy, Doctor," exclaimed Tom 
Johnson, staggering. " Don't trifle with me." 

"You forget," said the Doctor, waving his 
patient back into his chair, " that you were a 
man without a memory. ' ' 

" And I was really there with her and little 
Tom ? How is that precious baby, Tom ? 

36 



A Man without a Memory 



Tell me quick, Doctor," and he was on his 
feet again, reaching for his old gray uniform 
coat. 

" He is in China just now," replied the Doc- 
tor. 

"What?" roared Tom Johnson, with one 
arm in the sleeve of his coat. 

" He is Lieutenant-Commander Johnson, of 
the navy," said the Doctor. 

" What ! That baby ! " cried Tom. " An 
officer in the navy ! Hurrah ! I'm glad to 
hear he is serving his country. How did he 
get there ? ' ' 

' ' In the usual way, ' ' said the Doctor. ' ' You 
sent him to the Naval Academy and paid his 
bills, or rather your money did." 

" Good," said Tom Johnson, who still stood 
before the Doctor, with his old coat half on. 
" I believe everything you tell me. Would to 
God I had another boy to give to the same ser- 
vice." 

" You have," said the Doctor, "and he is 
also in the navy." 

Tom Johnson stared at the Doctor without 
opening his lips, and when he was about to 
speak he was restrained by a warning finger. 
' ' You are about to forget again that you have 
been a man without a memory. ' ' 

37 



A Man without a Memory 



Tom stood in silence for a moment, the bet- 
ter to grasp the surprising information, his coat 
still dangling from one shoulder, and then he 
raised his free arm above his head. "Thank 
God," he exclaimed, fervently, " that I have 
two sons in the service of the Confederacy, and 
she — she ' ' 

He had seized both hands of the Doctor, and 
was trembling visibly as he breathlessly awaited 
a reply. 

For the first time the Doctor was silent. 

"My wife — my darling — where is she?" 
and as he put these questions passionately, Tom 
Johnson clung desperately to the strong white 
hands of the man he trusted, he knew not why. 

" God have mercy on him," ejaculated the 
Doctor, fervently. " He has been a mati loith- 
out a memory. ' ' 

"Dead! Dead !" groaned Tom Johnson, 
dropping the Doctor's hands, and seating him- 
self on the bed. " Oh, why did you bring me 
back to hfe? " 

The Doctor sat down beside his patient and 
put an arm about his shoulders to soothe him as 
best he could. " It was years ago, my dear 
fellow," he began. "She was a good wife to 
you, and you lived long together in a happy 
home. She anticipated your every want. You 

38 



A Man without a Memory 



lived a half-conscious life without any recogni- 
tion of the past. Your infirmity was the only 
cross she had to bear. You were constantly 
with her in her last sickness. You closed her 
eyes with your own hands, and you have often 
stood by her grave, where the sunset stretches 
its golden bars under the dark pines. Not 
that you knew why you were there, but she en- 
treated Tom with her last breath to bring you 
to her often, and her one hope and prayer was 
that some day you might come understanding 
why you came." The Doctor ceased speak- 
ing. 

" Leave me alone for a while," said his 
stricken patient, who was overcome by this 
first knowledge of his bereavement, just as if 
he were standing by the dead form of his be- 
loved wife, who had at that moment ceased to 
breathe. 

Tom Johnson kept his room and would see 
no one during that day, even refusing the food 
that was offered him ; but with the dawn of an- 
other morning he called for his old comrade in 
arms, Pete Suavely, of the Thirteenth Virginia. 
When the latter appeared, towering in the 
doorway, the two literally fell into each other's 
arms, with voluble protestations and explana- 
tions and apologies, for Pete had had no idea at 

39 



A Man without a Memory 



the time the looking-glass had been smashed in 
the bar-room that he had been chaffering little 
Tom Johnson, of the old Thirteenth. 

' ' Tommy, ' ' blubbered Pete, as he held his 
comrade to his breast, clad in the sacred old 
uniform which now moved him to tears, '' it's 
all over what we fit for. ' ' 

Tom Johnson released himself from the em- 
brace of the weeping giant, and looked up at 
him with a terrified expression. "You mean 
the war's over, Pete," he said, feebly grasping 
at this interpretation of his comrade's mean- 
ing. 

" No, I don't," whimpered Pete, determined 
to have the worst over with the least delay. 
" I mean the Confederacy was busted, turned 
down more'n a quarter of a century ago — snuffed 
out like you was, Tommy, under that old thorn- 
tree — the niggers was set free, everybody nigh 
about was killed — but by G — , Tommy, the 
way we fit ag'in odds was a thing to be ever- 
lastin'ly proud of." 

Tom Johnson had fallen back to a sitting 
position on the edge of the bed, his face of an 
ashen pallor, which frightened his comrade to 
see. Pete Suavely partially shut himself up and 
deposited his knife -ship on a chair over oppo- 
site. " Never mind, Tommy," he said, wip- 

40 



A Man without a Memory 



ing his eyes; "it's all ancient history now, 
and we did our level best with bibles in our 
pockets and tooth-brushes in our button-holes. 
The difference between Blue-bellies and Gray- 
backs don't count no mo', and the fact is, 
Tommy, we're all Yankees now, and rather 
proud of it." 

This unwelcome news coming so suddenly 
was utterly appalling and crushing in its effect 
on Tom Johnson, particularly when he realized 
that baby Tom and the son he had no recol- 
lection of ever having seen, were actually serv- 
ing under the despised Yankee flag. It made 
him angry to think that he himself had been 
living under its folds for an ordinary life time, 
unconscious and unprotesting, as if an unfair 
advantage had been taken of his peculiar condi- 
tion, which amounted to a personal affront. It 
was a positive relief to him to learn that his be- 
loved old commander, Stonewall Jackson, had 
fallen in the fore front of battle, and had thus 
been spared the humiliation of conscious de- 
feat. 

"Don't take it to heart so, Tommy," said 
Pete, shrugging his shoulders and turning out 
the palms of his hands. " There ain't so many 
o' we all left, and the kids that's been born 
since the war, in one State o' the forty-four, 

41 



A Man without a Memory 



could drive both o' the old armies into the sea. 
We're back numbers, Tommy, that's what we 
are." 

"I'm afraid so," said Tom Johnson, stand- 
ing up and readjusting his belt over his old 
gray coat. " I shan't need this gun any 
more," he remarked, sadly, as he drew the 
iron ramrod and rang it down in the empty 
barrel. " Somebody has drawn the charge." 

Peter Snavely, who had some new surprise 
every hour for his old comrade in arms, took him 
under his protecting wing, and the latter gradu- 
ally put off his rusty equipments, exchanging his 
old uniform for a respectable suit of sober gray 
cloth, and it was quite refreshing to see him 
thus transformed by dainty linen and clean 
shaving, et cetera, into a courtly old gentleman 
with good money in his pocket, and a gold 
chronometer on his fob ; in short, put back ex- 
ternally in the well-groomed condition his body 
had been accustomed to before he came under 
the hands of the surgeon, with the addition of 
a brain as clear as the tone of a Japanese gong. 

The two were always together (the one short 
and sturdy, and the other lank and tall, as that 
President Lincoln, of whom Tom had had but 
a poor opinion), except when Mr. Thomas 
Johnson disappeared for a few days to look 
42 



A Man without a Memory 



over his property and stand by the grave of 
that wife who had stood bravely and lovingly 
beside him during so many years when he had 
been a man without a memory. 

His home had no attraction for him, to be 
compared with the claims of his old comrade, 
and so he preferred to surround himself with 
such comforts as he could at the long tavern 
under the buttonwood-tree over opposite the old 
head-quarters, where he could enjoy his pipe 
and his glass with Pete Snavely, of the old 
Thirteenth, and walk out at will to the knotted 
and deformed thorn-tree which still overhung 
the fenceless gash in the fields known as the 
bloody lane. 

One day in September, namely, the fifteenth, 
in the year of our Lord, 1892, a letter arrived 
at the Sharpsburg office addressed to " Thomas 
Johnson, Esquire," and post-marked "New- 
port News." Pete Snavely clasped and un- 
clasped himself with more agility than usual, 
as he descended the stone steps into the base- 
ment museum where his old comrade was 
smoking his pipe, among the glass cases of 
shells and canteens and buttons and oxidized 
bullets, in an environment bristling with guns 
and sabres and rusty lances of the John Brown 
period. The letter was signed " Baby Tom," 

43 



A Man without a Memory 



who had steamed into port from the Chinese 
seas, a full Captain in the Navy under orders to 
report at the navy yard at Washington, whence 
he was to proceed to New York to take com- 
mand of the new ram Constitution, where he 
would be granted leave to come and embrace 
his dear old father, in his joyful restoration. 

Tom Johnson, Sr., wiped the moisture from 
his eye-glasses, and with a promptness born of 
his military training ordered Pete Suavely to 
pack his knapsack forthwith. " Put in your 
Sunday clothes and plenty of them," cried Tom 
Johnson, and the tall comrade had come so 
completely under the control of the short one 
who carried the check - book that he obeyed 
without a question, and the two old soldiers 
were seated under the button wood -tree when 
the carriage came up for the station. 

They had a couple of hours at Hagerstown be- 
fore the night train, and in all probability Captain 
Johnson, U. S. N., was then at the Washington 
navy yard. When Pete Snavely's eye fell on a 
long-distance telephone in the hotel office, he 
bribed the clerk to call up the Commandant's 
quarters and, sure enough. Captain Johnson 
was there, whom Pete informed of the presence 
of his father and requested him to stop at the 
instrument. 



44 



A Man without a Memory 



"Come this way, Tommy," roared Pete; 
" there's a man outside wants to speak to you 
on the telephone." 

Tom Johnson came, but he had never seen 
or heard of a telephone, having been quite busy 
enough during the last two months catching up 
with other things. It was a sort of new-fangled 
telegraph, Pete said, and showed him how to 
put the receiver to his ear. Tom Johnson 
handled it very much as if it were loaded, and 
started a little when the bell rang ; but he fol- 
lowed Pete's instructions and called " Hello ! " 

*' Why, it echoes back in this thing," ex- 
claimed Tom. 

"Now, does it?" said Pete, pushing the 
receiver back to his ear. " That's the other 
fellow a hundred miles from here. Tell him 
you are Tom Johnson and ask him who he is." 

The most surprising answer came back, 
which caused the old man in gray to drop the 
receiver and feel for the soft spot on the top of 
his head, after the pleasant way he had of ex- 
pressing perplexity and surprise. 

" He says he's Baby Tom, from China ! " 

" Well, I reckon he ought to know, Tommy," 
said Pete Suavely. " He's eatin' fried chicken 
with the Admiral in Washington this minute, 
and you better ask him for a drum-stick." 

45 



A Man without a Memory 



So it fell out that father and son had a meet- 
ing at long range, in which everything was 
fixed, and it is certain that no telephone before 
or since has ever heard such eager ' ' helloes ' ' 
and affectionate "good-byes" as passed each 
other on that happy occasion ; and in conse- 
quence thereof the Captain's launch with the 
Captain in it met the two old soldiers at the 
landing, and Baby Tom looked so tall and 
bronzed and smart in his glittering uniform 
that his old daddy was overcome with awe and 
admiration for a sixth of a minute before the 
two came to close quarters, to all of which Pete 
Snavely can testify, for he clasped and un- 
clasped himself during the functions and amen- 
ities incident to this meeting between father and 
son with a rapidity that suggested a dancing-jack. 

During all this time the new Constitution, 
toward which the copper - coated launch was 
presently dancing over the swells, lay out in 
the river and in the sunlight, dressed in bunt- 
ing from stem to stern, with four hundred 
pairs of canvas trousers and four hundred shirts 
fluttering from the stays ; and the deck was 
manned to receive the new Commander and 
his guests, and the little old man in gray was 
sufficiently impressed with the dignity and im. 
portance of " Baby Tom." 
46 



A Man without a Memory 



During their stay on board and their pere- 
grinations on shore these two old veterans saw 
more of the world and the sea than they had 
ever dreamed of before, and they dined in such 
state with the Commander that they found 
themselves drinking bumpers to the flag before 
they knew it. They looked through the wind- 
ing, oily bore of the ten - inch rifle which 
ranged over the nickel-steel prow of the ram, 
and found the whole wonderful interior of the 
ship crowded here and there as compactly 
with delicate machinery as the case of a watch, 
and when they found themselves back at the 
long tavern under the buttonwood - tree, with 
the Captain in their company, they couldn't 
forget the wonders they had seen or divest 
themselves of the loyalty they had unconscious- 
ly put on. 

When Tom Johnson asked the Captain, his 
son, if the Constitution couldn't sink any bat- 
tle-ship or any other ship afloat, the Captain 
said he thought it might, but next year every 
battle - ship would carry sufficient dynamite 
tubes, for use at short range, to blow him up 
in a white cloud at just fifty yards short of the 
fatal impact ; and then he confided to his 
father that the steel monsters of the day were 
at heart the most arrant hypocrites and mission- 

47 



A Man without a Memory 



aries of peace, and that their commanders 
everywhere had such a profound and growing 
respect for each other, that he had to laugh 
into his cocked hat sometimes to think of it. 
The Captain told them, moreover, as they 
smoked their pipes under the buttonwood-tree, 
that in a few years the naval attacks would all 
be made under water, while the officers of the 
directing battle-ships were drinking champagne 
and watching each other through powerful 
glasses, and that in the end all naval combats 
would be decided by mathematical computa- 
tions made by the Admirals on shore, to which 
the tavern - keeper, who had been bora since 
the battle, said that things were certainly com- 
ing to a pretty pass. 

In due time, after father and son had stood 
together by the grave under the pines, and 
talked much of the absent son and brother, 
the Captain went away to join his ship, and 
things settled down to a normal condition at 
the long tavern under the buttonwood - tree. 
The two old comrades, the long one and the 
short one, may still be seen wandering about 
the historic field, and Tom Johnson has a new 
respect for the countless dead in the Govern- 
ment cemetery, and a positive affection for 
the big stone soldier standing silent guard 

48 



A Man without a Memory 



above them (which he had mistaken for a 
ghost in the raoonUght as he came crawling 
back into Sharpsburg in the creaking outfit, 
behind the old gray horse), and which, lean- 
ing on its stone gun, looks complacently out 
over the tree - tops across the smiling wheat- 
fields to the whitewashed walls of the low Dan- 
ker church and the sunlit strip of turnpike, 
where the battle raged so fiercely. 



49 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. 
Zaintree (Born Greenleaf ) 



THE WEDDING JOURNEY OF MRS. 
ZAINTREE (BORN GREENLEAF) 



QUITE the greatest surprise that had ever 
been meted out to the fastidious mem- 
bers of the Peter Stuyvesant Club (Hm- 
ited) befell when the news came of the marriage 
of Colonel Zaintree to a lady of suitable age and 
accomplishments, whom, rumor said, he had met 
in Norway, where both parties to the inevitable 
had been engaged in the innocent pursuit of 
the midnight sun. That so eccentric a member 
of a close corporation of bachelors should do 
such a commonplace thing, under the vulgar 
cloak of secrecy, which involved a hasty return 
across the Atlantic and the successful avoidance 
of his friends, was regarded by Major Cavendish 
and his right and left hand adversaries of the 
Colonel's particular table as nothing less than a 
tricky finesse. 

In addition to the concise and correct an- 
nouncement of the names of the two high con- 

53 



Tloe Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

tracting parties in an evening journal, there fol- 
lowed the surprising statement that : 

" The groom wore a ten-button frock coat of 
American broadcloth, with a boutonniere of 
golden nasturtiums on the left lapel ; a turn- 
down linen collar, silver-gray trousers, creased, 
with gloves to match, and carried in his hand a 
stick of Irish blackthorn, the gift of the bride." 

Both the Colonel and Mrs. Zaintree had 
spent many summers in Europe, during which 
sojourns (in severalty) they had explored that 
eminently respectable continent both along and 
beyond the ordinary itinerancy. Both had lis- 
tened to the thunder of Niagara ; the lady had 
visited the wonders of the Yosemite and the old 
Spanish Missions of Southern California, and 
the Colonel harbored some unpleasant recollec- 
tions of the Great Geyser basin in the Yellow- 
stone National Park. He had, in fact, cut his 
name in the soft clay of one of the minor basins, 
contrary to the Government keep-off-the-grass 
regulations ; and to make a salutary example of 
him, the officer in charge had telegraphed the 
fact to the captain of cavalry at the entrance, 
and the Colonel had been obliged to travel one 
hundred and sixty miles by stage to erase his 
signature. 

Barring these points, and the railways neces- 

54 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 



sary to reach them, and not taking into account 
some geographical knowledge the Colonel had 
picked up with the Army of the Potomac, their 
own country, outside of a tiny circle which 
should include Newport and Tuxedo, was a wide 
terra incognita. 

If the Colonel was bent on anything it was 
on making a unique wedding journey in the by- 
ways of travel, by unaccustomed means of 
transportation, leading to nowhere in particular, 
with necessarily no feverish anxiety on the part 
of the travellers to get there. With money in 
his purse and a check-book in his breast-pocket, 
and the hearty approval of the angel at his side, 
they were off for a romp in the dark, and about 
the whole strange business there was a delight- 
ful uncertainty, which was in itself a pretty sa- 
tire on the element of uncertainty connected 
with the longer journey upon which they were 
making simultaneous entry with such light 
hearts and high hopes. 

Of course they had to get out of town in an 
ordinary vestibule train, with its dreary, glitter- 
ing vista of polished mahogany fittings, broken 
by staring silver-plated ornaments, monogram 
glass, nice-enough china dinner-service, ebony 
waiters in spotless linen, and the endless proces- 
sion of respectables and fashionables, coming 

55 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

and going, reading papers, cutting the leaves of 
new books, and travelling-caps talking offensive 
politics with mysterious double eye - glasses. 
The Colonel tweaked his gray mustache and 
swore inwardly there should be an end of it, 
and Madam composed her gloved hands and 
just perceptibly shrugged her well-bred shoulders 
that there should be so many observers of her 
happiness and withal such a wilderness of re- 
spectable indifference to it. 

After a dainty breakfast of golden melon with 
water-cress, the freshest of rolls, and the most 
fragrant of coffee, served on a little table be- 
tween the high-backed seats in their own par- 
ticular domain, the Colonel tore himself away 
from his domestic happiness and walked forward 
to enjoy his cigar and his morning paper. In- 
stead of stopping in the first smoking-compart- 
ment, he strolled on through car after car until 
he found a seat to his liking, and settling him- 
self comfortably before a window, he was 
straightway lost in contemplation of the running 
landscape flooded with the sunlight of his own 
happiness. He forgot his morning paper, and 
even the small brown Havana hung unlighted 
between his listless fingers. His misspent life 
was before him, and the bachelor friends of his 
club, in their unsuspected misery, were jumbled 

56 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

with the fences and the trees, and the clouds 
were taking the shape of some of the girls he 
remembered. He was as far from them all and 
pitied them as much as if he had suddenly be- 
come the emperor of a continent in Mars. 

Presently he bethought himself of his cigar, 
without forgetting his happiness, and struck a 
match on the iron fire-dogs in the hall of the 
Peter Stuyvesant. 

" Hello, Zaintree, going to Chicago ? " 

The Colonel fell out of the clouds like a col- 
lapsed balloon, with an indistinct feeling that 
he had been engaged in something reprehensi- 
ble. 

" Nothing gone wrong, I hope," said the 
other — " drop in exchange or slump in cot- 
ton?" 

" Not a bit of it, Ketcham," cried the Col- 
onel, shaking his friend warmly by the hand. 
" Somethiiig has gone overwhelmingly right, 
and, to tell you an open secret, I have been 
getting married." 

" Well, you're old enough. I congratulate 
you. Tickets for Sitka ? " 

" Not quite so bad as that," said the Col- 
onel. " The tickets are nominally for Buffalo, 
but I can't promise you we shall not get off be- 
fore we reach there and take a wagon across 

57 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

country. I beg you will be seated," continued 
the Colonel, laying open his cigar-case, "and 
after we have talked the matter over let me 
have the pleasure of presenting an old friend to 
Mrs. Zaintree. Certainly, Ketcham, you are 
about the last man I expected to find ashore in 
these sweltering days." 

" If it's yachting you mean, Colonel, I have 
given it up for family reasons," said the gentle- 
man of the name of Ketcham, who was of about 
the Colonel's age, having a smooth-shaven face, 
large hearty Western ways, and something in- 
describable in his manner that hinted of soft 
winds blowing over many lands. " Wives have 
their limitations, Colonel," continued Commo- 
dore Ketcham. "Mine was launched without 
sea-legs, and when a captain's first mate spends 
the best part of the cruise in the seclusion of 
the cabin, it's time to go ashore and stay 
there." 

" Naturally," mused the Colonel. 

" So the Happy Thought is dismantled and 
laid up indefinitely. I'm sorry for it too. Col- 
onel ; if she was in commission this minute I 
would put her at your disposal for a honeymoon 
cruise," and the ex-Commodore of the Buffalo 
Yacht Club laid one hand regretfully on the 
Colonel's knee and snapped the fingers of the 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

other in vexation at his sheer inability to do the 
handsome thing. 

The Colonel, who understood his friend 
thoroughly, expressed his regrets briefly and 
feelingly, knowing that the situation annoyed 
the Commodore like a belated thought haunt- 
ing the memory of an after-dinner speech. 

The two gentlemen now cast aside their 
cigars and took their way down the train, the 
Colonel with a comfortable pride in a new and 
inestimable possession, and the Commodore con- 
scious of an agreeable curiosity and a personal 
solicitude concerning first impressions. 

An hour later the train was running smoothly 
over the rails among the scattered homes of the 
laborers and market-gardeners on the outskirts 
of Rochester, the Commodore seated opposite 
to the bride with a comfortable feeling that he 
had known and admired her indefinitely, and a 
keen regret that circumstances over which he 
had no control were about to separate old 
friends and new. 

Mrs. Zaintree was saying the thousand and 
one cordial things which a well-bred and kind- 
hearted lady knows so Avell how to say : ' ' The 
Colonel's friends were her friends. The Com- 
modore must certainly dine with them on his 

59 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

very earliest visit to New York, and she should 
take good care to find out his favorite dish 
before he came. She looked forward to the 
pleasure of knowing his wife, who was no sailor, 
and it was so sweet of him to give up the water 
for her sake. ' ' 

"My dear Mrs. Zaintree," said the Com- 
modore, "to be exact, I have given it up with 
a reservation. That is to say, the down-town 
house of Self & Co. has fitted up a couple of 
cabins, fore and aft, on the iron freighter Nau- 
tilus, and I go aboard sometimes for a cruise on 
the lake, with a friend or two. A basket of 
wine and a few brace of ducks in the larder, 
and a quiet rubber in the cabin. You under- 
stand, Colonel? " 

" Why, look here," cried the Colonel, "that 
eclipses the idea of the yacht." 

" It's ever so much jollier," exclaimed Mrs. 
Zaintree. " Do you know, I sailed on a Dutch 
lugger with fins, like a great fish, from Rotter- 
dam to Ymuiden in the North Sea, with a little 
party of English and Americans last year, and 
it was the nicest trip of the whole summer." 
" But my vessel is loaded with coal." 
"And the Dutch fin-boat carried fish." 
" Where is the Nautilus bound? " asked the 
Colonel. 

60 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

" There it is again," said the Commodore ; 
"unfortunately I haven't the remotest idea. 
She may be booked for Cleveland, or she may 
be for Three Mile Harbor, or any other port 
on the Lakes. The deck-hands swear all day 
and play the accordion all night. Cook cuts 
the beef in cubes ' ' 

" Just Hke the Rotterdam lugger," broke in 
the lady, with enthusiasm, " and sailing with 
sealed orders too. Not another word. Com- 
modore, in disparagement of the Nautilus. 
Anything that is good enough for Commodore 
Ketcham and his friends is good enough for 
us." 

" Precisely so," said the Colonel. " Put 
us on board the Nautilus by all means, if our 
presence will be no hindrance to the business 
of the vessel." 

" Not an atom," cried the Commodore, 
whose hand was already on his travelling-bag, 
with none too much time to make his South- 
bound train. " I'll telegraph the office to 
hold her until you come, and you must stop in 
the waiting-room of the station, like two or- 
phans, until you are called for. I shall write 
the telegram in the carriage going across town, 
and Captain Webb and the cook will pipe you 
over the side in royal style. Tut, tut, not a 
6i 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 



word, and not an anxious thought for your- 
selves or your kiggage, and good-by, and good- 
by, and a pleasant cruise," and the Commodore 
hurried away with the outgoing crowd. 

It naturally occurred to Mrs. Zaintree, as the 
Commodore was disappearing, that it would be 
as well to conceal the fact of their recent mar- 
riage from the profane and musical deck-hands, 
and with that modest end in view she hurried 
the Colonel off in pursuit, who was just in time 
to buttonhole his friend as he was stepping into 
a carriage. 

"You sly dog," laughed the Commodore, 
squeezing the Colonel's hand, " I was a young 
man myself once. I'll telegraph the Captain 
that you expect your eldest son to come on 
board at Detroit." 

The Colonel stood an inch higher in his own 
estimation as the carriage containing the Com- 
modore rattled off over the stones. Mrs. Zain- 
tree saw something outside the window that 
claimed her attention for a moment, and then 
she commended the Commodore's cleverness, 
and intimated that if they should not pass De- 
troit it would be a grave disappointment to the 
supposititious young man. 

The July sun, climbing up into a cloudless 
sky, promised a day of unusual heat, and the 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

long train had become twice as stuffy as before 
since the cruise on the lake had been decided 
on. 

" It will be just like the Dutch lugger/' said 
the lady, " only a great deal nicer. Instead of 
fishy planks the cabin-floor will be spread with 
white sand, and we can walk around the coal, 
and I am sure there will be no great patches on 
the Commodore's sails, and the Captain will let 
me take a turn at the wheel, and we will imag- 
ine Lake Erie is the North Sea, and only think 
of it, you darling Colonel, we don't know where 
we are going. ' ' 

The hot fragrance of the clover came in at 
the open window. The cool green of the corn 
overspread the gently rolling hills, away to the 
purple woods, and laughed in the face of the 
shimmering heat. The towns and the orchards 
slid by, and the long western - bound freight 
trains seemed to stand still, with a ridiculous 
make-believe of flurry and steam, for the flying 
express to pass. 

The Colonel felt assured that the will of the 
Commodore was already working wonders in 
their behalf in the city by the lake. And so it 
turned out, for the carriage that picked them 
up at the station was already half-loaded with 
wicker-baskets and hampers, and the handsome 

63 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

assistant - engineer on the box knew all about 
them, and had anticipated all their wants just 
as if they had been expected for a month. 

It was nothing that they had to mount a 
rickety ladder, and cross the deck of a schoon- 
er, whose greasy cook - shop was redolent of 
onions, and whose seamy sides smelt of tar and 
bilge - water. Another ladder rose from the 
offensive deck against a wall of iron, and the 
bronze smile of Captain Webb of the Nautilus 
was beaming a welcome from the top. 

Madam the cook, in a clean white apron, 
with her keys in a basket, led them up the long 
deck to their quarters in the forecastle ; and 
VVilhelm, her husband and first assistant, his 
bald head sparkling in the sun like the ship's 
binnacle, brought up the rear, to lend a hand 
in stowing the luggage, which was neatly piled 
outside a pretty white door, the formidable pyr- 
amid crowned with the Colonel's hat-box. 



64 



II 



" " I ^HE dear old Commodore!" thought 

X Mrs. Zaintree, sweeping the pohshed 
decks with the comprehensive eye of an experi- 
enced globe-trotter, " it was all a fib about the 
coal." If the exclusive passengers of the Nau- 
tilus were pleased with the external appearance 
of the craft, its trim smoke-stacks crowned with 
a billo\v of scintillating heat from the suppressed 
energy below, what were their surprise and de- 
light at the revelation of comfort and luxury 
that lay behind the little white door by the 
pyramid of luggage. 

A darkened vista of cabins, two in number, 
panelled with sycamore and half-separated with 
silken draperies, and an opposite door opening 
on a well-appointed bath-room. A velvet car- 
pet under foot ; a white-curtained bed beyond 
the dividing drapery ; great easy - chairs and 
couches backed with carved dolphins and up- 
holstered in leather ; glittering lamps hanging 
from the ceilings ; a dainty writing-table hooked 
to the wall under the window looking on the 
deck ; two other curtained windows overlook- 

65 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 



ing the tarry bowsprit of the schooner along- 
side, and a little shelf of new novels with uncut 
leaves. A winding staircase led up to the Cap- 
tain's quarters above, and so out onto the short 
upper deck where the watch alternated before 
the glazed wheel-house. 

" It's not a bit like the Dutch lugger with 
red fins," said the bride, out of a nest of 
cushions, " anymore than little Holland is like 
big America, thanks to the charming taste of 
the Commodore." 

There was a gentle throb in the timl)ers of 
the Nautilus, the tarry ro^Jes had disappeared 
from the open windows, and a little stir of 
fresher air fluttered the curtains ; a deluge of 
cool water from some mysterious source streamed 
over the cabins and presently spluttered and 
dashed against the door and window inboard, 
and when the forward cabins had received a 
satisfactory cleansing externally, the man with 
the hose turned his attention to the main-deck, 
and Colonel and Mrs. Zaintree, bound nowhere 
in particular, so far as they yet knew, were well 
out on the blue watere of Lake Erie, the black 
smoke billowing and tumbling from the twin 
stacks away aft with something mysterious about 
it, like the far-reaching hospitality of the Com- 
modore. 

66 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

It was quite a wonderful ship, the Nautilus, 
for a carrier of freight, and the coal was really- 
battened down under the hatches, a full cargo 
of it. More than half of her length was clean 
unencumbered deck, stretching between the 
cabins fore and aft, protected by low bulwarks 
and dominated by two tall masts without a 
thread of canvas ; and this timber paddock lay 
in front of the Colonel's door, so that once 
out of sight of land, where the cool winds 
tempered the warmth of the sun, the fortunate 
couple found it a delightful promenade whereon 
to saunter up and down, encased in warm 
flannels. 

Indeed it was quite a respectable walk to and 
from the dining-cabin, where the cook's green- 
and-gold parrot chose the nick of time in which 
to scream, "Make way for the Captain." In 
the little state cabin aft, alongside the main 
dining-room, a round table was laid with two 
covers for the Commodore's guests, and with a 
third, by request of the Colonel, for the use of 
the Captain whenever he was at liberty to join 
them. The Nautilus's monogram silver came 
out of its glass - case, and the private lockers 
yielded of their store of dainty linen and china 
to grace this extra board. 

At supper, on the very first day out, Captain 

67 



The JVedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

Webb, who had gone to the extra length of 
putting on his coat for the occasion, which 
staggered the parrot, eying him through the 
open door, into utter silence, announced that 
the steamer would pass up the Detroit River 
the next evening, where young Mr. Zaintree 
would come out in the reporter's boat. 

" Long since you have seen your son, 
ma'am ? " asked the Captain. 

Mrs. Zaintree said it was a long time, and 
the Colonel hastened to add that Jack was not 
very reliable, and he shouldn't be surprised to 
see the boat come alongside without him. 

"Never fear, ma'am," said the Captain, 
with an effort at gallantry, which had about it 
a flavor of the Commodore's wine, "if your 
son esteems his charming mother as she de- 
serves, and he wouldn't be the Colonel's boy 
if he didn't, we shall hook him up with the 
evening papers. Dear me, no," continued the 
Captain, "the boat never stops, she just slows 
down a bit and we lower a ladder. Of course, 
ma'am, he will sleep in this cabin, it is all we 
have to offer him ; but the more the merrier, 
Colonel, and it's all in the family. If you 
should conclude, ma'am, that you would rather 
have him on one of the sofas in your quarters, 
the cook will fix him comfortable. If you 
68 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

don't own the boat this trip I don't know who 
does," and the Captain closed the outer door 
behind him and went whistUng away to his 
watch. 

The Colonel and his bride laughed merrily 
at the huge success of the Commodore's tele- 
gram. They looked down at the grimy stokers, 
feeding the furnaces, and made a descent into 
the moist, warm atmosphere of the engine- 
room, where the great oily giant of propulsion 
was doing its mysterious, noiseless work, with 
a ceaseless gliding of steel bars, flecked with 
little heart-beats of thin steam from the joints 
of the monster's glittering brass-mounted har- 
ness. 

The engineer was so polite to the Com- 
modore's guests and so proud of his machinery, 
and the atmosphere of the ship-wide room was 
so balmy, with its pretty writing - desk in the 
corner, and the green water rushing by the 
open ports, and the curious dial on the engine, 
that dropped an additional black figure for 
every revolution of the shaft (and had been 
dropping figures ceaselessly from the very start 
up into the hundred thousands) — these things 
were all so interesting and so marvellous that 
the oleaginous odor of the place became a 
rather pleasant perfume, so that when they went 
69 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

out the chill of the evening on deck was 
sharpened by comparison. 

The steam was turned on in the radiators in 
the forward cabins, and the lamps alight, but 
the night was so fine outside that our travellers 
went up to join the Captain's watch in front of 
the wheel-house. 

It was perhaps four o'clock in the afternoon 
of the second day of the cruise when the Nau- 
tilus was steaming up past the forts and the big 
straw - colored Exhibition building, relieved 
against the canopy of smoke which overhung 
the city of Detroit, spreading back from the 
flat level of the river. 

The Colonel was eager to get the papers, and 
Mrs. Zaintree was plying the Captain with ques- 
tions about every prominent object on either 
shore, going from side to side of the bow, com- 
ing into collision with the capstan on the way 
to Canada, and running against the binnacle on 
the Michigan side, and manifesting less interest 
in her offspring, the Captain thought, than a 
she - bear would show for her cub. It rather 
annoyed the Captain to think so. In many re- 
spects Mrs. Zaintree was the most accomplished 
woman Captain Webb had ever come in con- 
tact with. In his private log he had entered 
70 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

her as " a thoroughbred." Her perfect self- 
possession seemed to him Hke an invisible armor 
through which her frank, cordial manner and 
engaging womanly ways shone like a soft, warm 
light. Her low modulated voice struck on his 
ear like music. In every other respect the 
Colonel's wife was altogether lovely, but her 
conduct as a mother completely staggered his 
reckoning. 

If the lady divined, to some extent, what 
was passing in the Captain's mind, she was too 
honest to dissemble unnecessarily, and a iew 
unavoidable expressions of regret for the non- 
appearance of the mythical Jack, after Detroit 
should be left behind, would make it all right. 
When she restored him his glass, v/ith a pretty 
speech of thanks for his kindness, and disap- 
peared down the companion-way, and that just 
before he got the first view of the reporter's 
boat pushing out from the shore, the Captain 
shook his head and pondered on the mysterious 
ways of womankind. 

At the same moment that these perplexing 
thoughts were vexing the Captain's brain, Mr. 
Jack Dorr, of Toledo, O., seated in the stern 
of the newsman's boat, had his eye on the Nau- 
tilus steaming up the river. He was speculat- 

71 



The Wedding Joimiey of Mrs. Zaintree 

ing as to how his four dogs and all his hunting 
traps and personal luggage could be safely got 
over the side of the steamer, which was totally 
oblivious of his existence and wouldn't have 
stopped for the Commodore himself But Mr. 
Jack Dorr had an authorization from the To- 
ledo office, duly signed and sealed, to board 
the Nautilus as she passed Detroit, and his 
serenity was not in the least disturbed by the 
difficulty the officers would encounter in mak- 
ing the transfer of himself and his effects. 
That was their business he flattered himself, 
and he was only conscious of an amused curi- 
osity as to how they would acquit themselves 
in the emergency he was about to thrust upon 
them. 

" The Nautilus is a slowin' up for some- 
thin'," the boatman observed, as he stuffed a 
bundle of newspapers into a tin pail, with a 
line attached to the pail. Mr. Jack Dorr ob- 
served for himself that a ladder was already over 
the side, and instead of holding up the potent 
document as he had fully intended to do, he 
threw away his cigar, and administered a cor- 
rective cuff apiece to two restive young hounds 
who showed signs of disturbing the dignity of 
his establishment with their uncalled-for music. 
"That must be the skipper," he thought, as 
72 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 



he complacently took in the authoritative figure 
of Captain Webb, making the boat's line fast to 
a thole-pin. 

" Don't disturb yourself, Mr. Zaintree," 
shouted the authoritative figure at the rail, 
" until we get the dogs on board." 

Mr. Jack Dorr had not the slightest intention 
of disturbing himself. It was not his way. 
He had been agreeably surprised by the abun- 
dant evidence that he, or somebody else, was 
expected to board the vessel at this particular 
point, and the Captain, himself, addressing him 
by the unheard - of name of Zaintree, gave a 
fresh and pleasing interest to the mystery. 

"Look here, John," said Mr. Jack Dorr, 
from his seat in the stern, naming the news- 
man at random, " take that liver-and-white 
setter under your arm, and drop her on board ; 
see? Don't be afraid of her, man. It's all 
right, skipper, my dogs are up to this sort o' 
thing." 

When the boatman came down for the last 
dog he brought the surprising information that 
his passenger's father and mother were on 
board. 

"The devil you say," said Mr. Jack Dorr. 
"I'm glad to know it." 

" Old folks all right, skipper? " cried Jack, 

73 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

at last, with a hearty grasp of the Captain's hand 
that won the sailor's heart by storm. "They 
don't appear to be dying to see their son." 

"Your reckoning is about right," said Cap- 
tain Webb, taking no care to conceal the 
double meaning of his words. " There comes 
the Colonel nov!.'" 

Mr. Jack Dorr took in his new parent at a 
glance — a glance of satisfied approval, and 
hastened across the deck to meet him. 

"Glad to see you, governor! Never saw 
you looking better ! " And there was an 
amused twinkle of inquiry in Jack's eyes as he 
looked straight across into the Colonel's. 

The Colonel was taken altogether by sur- 
prise, for he had been reading in the cabin, 
and came out with the expectation of encoun- 
tering nothing more personal than the editorial 
thrusts in the Detroit papers, and when he saw 
Jack greeting the Captain, he suspected that 
the Commodore had put off a practical joke on 
iiim, and he concluded to accept the situation 
philosophically. The Colonel was a sensitive 
man, and it was no part of his plan to be made 
the laughing-stock of the crew, so he returned 
the strange young man's greeting heartily 
enough, and the two turned away in the di- 
rection of the forecastle. 

74 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

" You mustn't mind my calling you govern- 
or," said Jack. '* As the boys say, ' Every- 
thing goes when you're away from home.' 
The Captain called me Zaintree, or Braintree, 
over the rail, and sent me word that my father 
and mother were on board, and I accepted the 
situation, pop, just as I found it." 

" The Captain called you Zaintree, did 
he? " said the Colonel with a smile. " What 
does the Commodore call you ? ' ' 

" If you mean Commodore Ketcham," said 
Jack, " I don't know him from a side of sole 
leather, but here is my card. You are Colonel 
Zaintree, I presume, and as for myself, the sur- 
prising events that have occurred since I came 
alongside this ship leave me in something of 
a fog as to who I am." 

The Colonel put on his gold eye-glasses and 
read the very correct social statement : 

Mr. John Dorr. 

"Hum," mused the Colonel, "then you 
don't know the Commodore, Mr. Dorr? " 

" I haven't the pleasure," said Jack. " And 
by the way, governor, if our relationship is to 
go on this trip, you had better forget my name 
altogether and call me plain Jack." 

Colonel Zaintree pondered the situation in 

75 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

silence for a moment, during which he ran a 
quick eye over the irreproachable exterior of 
the young man who had accosted him so 
breezily. The disagreeable alternative of re- 
nouncing the relationship already publicly as- 
sumed, the Colonel wisely decided, had best 
be submitted to the judgment of the third 
party interested. 

Captain Webb saw the gentlemen disappear 
through the little white door with regret, for 
the singular maternal conduct of the otherwise 
admirable Mrs. Zaintree was still vexing his 
mind, and he had hoped to be a witness of 
such a cordial meeting with her son as should 
triumphantly vindicate her character as a 
mother. 

When, however, a half-hour afterward, he 
looked down from the bridge and saw the 
three pacing the deck arm in arm, the lady 
addressing the greater part of her conversation 
to Jack, he thought it a very pretty family 
tableau, and privately voted himself a fool for 
his suspicions. 

If he had seen the meeting in the cabin, 
without hearing the words that were spoken, 
he would have been equally satisfied with Mrs. 
Zaintree's conduct as a high-bred mother and 
with Jack's behavior as a dutiful son. The 
76 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

set speech of the Colonel in presenting the 
young gentleman died on his lips, half uttered, 
as he saw his wife drop the book she had been 
reading and advance with both hands ex- 
tended, her face beaming with a smile of wel- 
come and uttering the one word, '■'■ Jack / " 

As for Mr. Jack Dorr, he came as near 
being surprised as was consistent with his se- 
rene nature. 

Having possessed himself of the lady's 
hands, he paused and counted ten, during 
which prudent operation he digested some of 
the toughest features of the situation. 

"It is a most unexpected pleasure," he 
said, " to salute the late Miss Arabella Green- 
leaf as 'mother,' " and with an air of the 
most profound respect he bent forward and 
kissed the lady on the cheek. 

"It's all right, governor," cried Mr. Jack 
Dorr, turning apologetically to the Colonel, 
and with an all - comprehensive sweep of his 
long arms, "I congratulate everybody," and 
Mr. Jack Dorr thereupon threw himself upon 
the nearest chair and laughed until the tears 
came into his eyes. 

" Edith opened your cards this morning be- 
fore I left the house. How's Fred ? Oh, 
Fred's all right. And Louise ? Louise is a 

n 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

corker, and don't you forget it? Oh, you 
giddy children ! " cried Jack after another 
burst of laughter, " you are playing the skip- 
per with this story of a son coming on board, 
and the dear old boy don't tumble." 

"It is clear there has been no improvement 
in you, Jack," said Mrs. Zaintree (born 
Greenleaf). " You are behaving as badly as 
when you were horrifying all England on the 
Rotterdam boat." 

When the coincidence of Jack's happening 
was made plain to the Colonel, and the mys- 
tery of the eldest son explained more fully to 
Jack, it was mutually agreed that the tripartite 
family relation, offensive and defensive, must 
be sustained on board the Nautilus. 



78 



Ill 



IT was a very pretty family party, the Cap- 
tain thought, grouped outside the cabin- 
door, after tea. Jack was so devoted to his 
very youthful-looking mamma, and the hand- 
some hunting dogs were chasing each other 
about the deck, and coming back at the call 
of the Colonel. 

Jack was telling Mrs. Zaintree that his real 
parents, whom he knew she ranked among her 
most valued friends, were on their way to 
Duluth, where they would all meet. 

"It will be no surprise, this wedding busi- 
ness," said Jack, " for Edith telegraphed 
them to where they were stopping in Canada 
as .soon as she received your cards. ' ' 

The Nautilus was at that moment steaming 
across the beautiful St. Clair, the land a faint 
blue streak on the horizon. Owing to the 
extreme heat of the day the sky had been roll- 
ing with thunder-caps, and as the sun was set- 
ting the gorgeous cloud-forms were sobering 
down into a dome of infinite delicacy of tints, 

79 



The IVedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

uniting in almost imperceptible lines, through 
the purple and golden haze, with the trans- 
parent surface of the lake. How enchanting 
and unreal it was ! They seemed to be float- 
ing in the centre of a vast globe of color, the 
sunset below as well as above them. Lying 
low on the horizon, athwart the delicate pur- 
ple and lavender clouds, a tattered rope of 
coal smoke completely surrounded them, now 
shredded into almost imperceptible strands, 
and again spread out into eccentric zigzag 
masses thro\ving deep shadows on the water. 

It was all very soothing and tranquillizing, 
but Jack grew restive, nevertheless, as the 
music of dancing on an excursion steamer 
came floating across the water, and with a 
genius for spreading the contagion of his own 
high spirits, he broke the spell of the sunset, 
and led the way up to a more extended out- 
look over the bow, where it happened that the 
Captain was pacing his solitary watch. 

It was beautiful to see Jack seat his hand- 
some mamma where the very best view could 
be had, and then wrap her up to the throat 
with his own filial hands, against the chill of 
the evening air. 

"I tell you, ma'am," said Captain Webb, 
" I knew your son was the right sort the min- 

80 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

ute he come over the rail. I reckon, ma'am, 
it must be a great comfort to you to have him 
on board." 

Mrs. Zaintree smiled and said that Jack was 
always very good to her. 

" It's the way she raised me, skipper," said 
Jack. " She never laid a hand on me in an- 
ger. Taught me love and respect, and that 
sort o' thing. And the governor here, too, 
has been quite too indulgent for my good. 
Makes me too liberal an allowance. Took me 
to the races before I was out of short clothes 
and played the winner in my name, and put 
the stakes in my little bank. Now, I'll leave it 
to you. Captain, as a fair-minded man," and 
Jack spoke feelingly, '" if the governor has any 
call to kick, as I am grieved to say he does, 
when I happen to play the wrong horse ? ' ' 

"Never mind him, Captain," said the 
Colonel, with some austerity; "I have got 
him now where horses won't trouble him for a 
few days. What's that double row of peach- 
trees growing out of the lake just ahead ? It 
looks like a straight-away course for youngsters, 
Jack." 

The Captain explained that the curious em- 
bankments formed the St. Clair canal, and 
pointed out the light-houses on either end and 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

the buoys marking the channel of approach. 
The peach-trees turned out to be brook wil- 
lows bordering well - worn pathways along 
either side, and the light-houses looked quite 
domestic with their vegetable gardens and out- 
houses. The Colonel inspected the timbered 
sides, and the steam-dredge moored against the 
right-hand bank, with the eye of an engineer, 
and Mrs. Zaintree had the Captain's glass lev- 
elled on the club-houses and hotels and cot- 
tages that stretched away to the left, beyond 
the farther light-house, and opposite to the 
swampy Canadian shore. 

When his honored parents grew tired of 
watching the endless line of lights in cottages, 
and lanterns hung among green trees, marking 
pre-empted claims on Government sand- banks. 
Jack remained to share the Captain's watch and 
see the Nautilus "tooled" through the river 
into Lake Huron. 

Mr. Jack Dorr made himself doubly agree- 
able now that he was relieved of parental re- 
straint. By means of some well-chosen and 
highly flavored stories, which he told with great 
cleverness, he drew peals of laughter from the 
two men at the wheel. It afforded a peculiar 
satisfaction to Jack to stir up these ghostly 
listeners in the shadowy wheel - house, who 
82 



The IVedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

broke the silence at long intervals by a sepul- 
chral echo of the Caj^tain's orders. He was 
glad to know that they were awake, and he 
would give them something more interesting to 
repeat in the forecastle than the gossip of a re- 
spectable family. 

Jack and the Captain got on bravely. They 
talked local geography and navigation until 
Gratiot light hove in sight, and then they talked 
dog until the boat was far out in Lake Huron. 
The Captain was up on dogs. In fact he owned 
the best bred young Irish setter " in the town 
ofSte. Marie or the State of Michigan," and 
if things were favorable at the lock they would 
have time to run over to his house and look at 
it. 

" Dog for sale ? " asked Jack. " The deuce 
you say. Strikes me you want big money. 
Well, I'll tell you what I'll do, skipper. If the 
governor is as good-natured to-morrow as he 
has been to-day, and the pup's points please 
me, I'll take it. Good-night," and Mr. Jack 
Dorr went away to his cabin aft. 

All the next day the Nautilus labored through 
a choppy sea, under a leaden sky ; not a 
glimpse of land and rarely a ship in sight. The 
anchors had been dropped overboard during 
the night, off the entrance to St. Mary's River, 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

whose tortuous channel was not to be navigated 
in the dark, but with the first rosy streaks of 
dawn they were again under way. 

When Jack awoke in the early morning the 
sun was just rising — a great golden ball sus- 
pended over the Canada woods. The sun hav- 
ing no particular charm for him just then, he 
saluted it with some rather uncomplimentary 
remarks and turned his face to the opposite 
wall. At the same moment a peculiar shock ran 
througli the timbers of the vessel and he tumbled 
out and thrust his head into the unwelcome 
sunHght in time to see the water boiling back 
from the bow yellow with mud. 

" That settles it," said Mr. Jack Dorr, and 
he turned in again and went to sleep. His re- 
pose, however, was short and troubled, for the 
deck-hands were hammering on iron outside 
his window. When he dressed himself and 
came on deck he learned that the rudder-gear- 
ing had broken and that the Nautilus was lying 
helpless across the channel. On the port side 
a small pine-tree overhung the rail, which, he 
found on inspection, was attached to the mast 
of an American tug which had borne down 
with great promptness on the stranded monster, 
scenting a job. On the starboard side a 
Canadian revenue cutter, flying the Union Jack, 

84 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

had already made fast ; and by the number of 
craft in sight he rightly judged that they would 
soon be the centre of a considerable fleet. 

This interesting prospect rather heightened 
the relish of Jack's breakfast, which he enjoyed 
with unusual deliberation, and even lingered 
behind to worry the parrot. As he lighted his 
morning cigar and returned to the deck, he was 
peculiarly in a mood to take the world as it 
came. It was well that it was so, for the full 
bloom of Mr. Jack Dorr's serenity was present- 
ly disturbed by a familiar voice pronouncing 
his name, and turning about he confronted his 
real father, standing in an open gangway along- 
side a large-eyed Jersey cow. 

The meeting was altogether a happy one un- 
til the elder Dorr expressed his intention to 
climb over the boards put up to confine the 
cow, and come on board the Nautilus. 

"Don't do it," said Jack. "I've got one 
governor on board already ; in fact I am trav- 
elling with my parents, and your presence would 
compromise the family arrangements." 

" Hang the family arrangements," cried 
Jack's father, "I'm coming on board to look 
into the family arrangements. Do you want to 
disgrace your mother, you young vagabond ? 
Do you know she is somewhere on the upper 

85 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

deck of this steamer overlooking your deviltry 
at this moment ? ' ' 

" Come now, pop ; my mother is all right, 
Heaven bless her. I am more anxious just now 
about the charming lady who sustains that rela- 
tion to me on board this boat. Easy now, 
governor, easy. You know her already. ' ' 

The elderly gentleman was fast getting be- 
yond the control of his son's peculiar methods 
of pacification, and the mild-eyed cow was 
staring at him through her halter with a dumb 
look of wonderment. It was fortunate for 
Jack, at this critical moment, that the Colonel 
and his bride emerged from the breakfast 
cabin. It was fortunate that Jack saw them 
and beckoned them over. 

He wisely resigned the task of pacifying his 
father into the hands of the charming Mrs. 
Zaintree (born Greenleaf), who had already 
played the same role in his behalf with eminent 
success. While the explanations and congratu- 
lations were going on between his two govern- 
ors, Jack relighted his cigar, and turned his at- 
tention to the pretty Canadian girls, in sailor 
hats, looking over the rail of the passenger 
steamer. Sure enough, there was his mother 
under an awning, but she didn't see him ; and 
cautioning the bride to keep out of sight until 
86 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

he Iiad explained the situation, he clambered 
through the gangway, leaving his placated 
father on board the Nautilus. 

Jack's mother had it particularly impressed 
upon her that Arabella Greenleaf was not known 
to be a bride on board the Nautilus — not by a 
good many years, Jack said — and then the 
ladies were allowed to greet each other, at a 
distance, and throw kisses, and console their 
warm hearts Avith the prospect of a completer 
unburdening in the hotel at Duluth. Jack was 
so fond of his real mother, and lingered so long 
in her company, that the passenger steamer 
came near backing away with him on board. 
As it was, he slid down a flag-staft' and jumped 
to the deck of the Nautilus, in imminent dan- 
ger of breaking his bones. 

The Canadian boat was well in the offing 
when Jack walked into his own cabin, and, to 
his consternation, found his father and the 
Colonel pledging each other in the Commo- 
dore's champagne. 

" Well, here is a go," cried Jack. " Mother 
alone on the other boat, damage repaired, lines 
cast off, and Heaven help me, with two gov- 
ernors to manage on one ship. Now don't get 
excited, sir ; it's too late for that sort of thing. 

87 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 



You are here to stay, and she won't miss you 
until we get up to the locks." 

Of course there was a little commotion ; the 
gentlemen rushed on deck only to find that the 
two ships were out of hailing distance. Mr. 
Dorr the elder consoled himself with the belief 
that his wife would think he was in the barber's 
shop, or the wheel-house, or the engine-room, 
or somewhere else on board, for he had a habit 
of roaming about the steamer. He would get 
back where he belonged during the passage of 
the locks of the Saint Mary's, and his wife 
wouldn't believe him when he related his ad- 
venture. 

Jack saw the Captain j>assing, and hailed him. 
" This gentleman," he said, " is a friend of the 
governor's ; got left by the passenger steamer. 
Governor Dorr, Captain Webb. Ex-Governor 
Dorr of Florida, I believe." It had occurred 
to Jack's fertile brain that he could thus fore- 
stall the danger of a slip of the tongue on his 
part, and for the remainder of the passage jum- 
ble his two governors to his heart's content. 
" He is rather a distinguislied stowaway," con- 
tinued Jack, " but I reckon we can take care of 
him up to the locks." 

At this he left the governors in the company 
of the Captain, and hastened away to apprise the 

88 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

Colonel's bride of the new official dignity he 
had conferred on his father. It seemed to Jack 
that his old friend Arabella Greenleaf had never 
been more charming than he found her at that 
moment, in the luxurious cabin of the Nautilus, 
flushed with the excitement of the recent meet- 
ing and full of enthusiasm in view of the coming 
reunion at Uuluth. 

" And two long days on Lake Superior be- 
fore we get there," said she, sorrowfully. '• I 
didn't think yesterday that anything could hap- 
pen to make this delightful voyage too long. 
What a pity it is, when we are all bound to the 
same port, we must travel by different ships. 
Oh ! Jack," and the lady's face brightened at 
the thought, " we must get your mother trans- 
ferred to the Nautilus while we are passing 
through the locks, instead of returning your 
father to the Canadian steamer. Come, come, 
Jack; I'll appeal to Captain Webb, as a per- 
sonal favor." 

"Well now, my very enthusiastic friend," 
said Jack, interposing his bulk between the lady 
and the door, " you want to compose yourself 
first, and bear in mind that the situation is 
considerably complicated on this ship already. 
The arrangement can undoubtedly be effected. 
I suspect that Captain Webb is rather fond of 
89 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

you — fancy he will grant your request jolly 
quick. But you must be very cool-headed 
when you tackle him, and not go blurting out 
things about my mother, and forgetting that 
you are a mother yourself ' ' 

" Oh, dear ! " sighed the lady, " what a tan- 
gled web we weave ' ' 

" That's what it is, my dear mamma. But 
take a little time to consider. There's lots of 
time. Two good hours. Let's begin," and 
in a moment they were walking up and down 
the deck outside in consultation. 

Close off the port rail a herd of American 
cows was standing in the edge of the river, 
affording a soothing object-lesson in patience, 
as they lazily switched the flies from their sides 
and dozed ruminant in the broad sunlight. 
The Canadian passenger steamer was threading 
the channel in the wake of the Nautilus, its high 
sides and deck-cabins resembling an Atlantic 
coaster, and its dingy color suggesting an un- 
painted farm-house. 



90 



IV 



As Jack had predicted, Captain Webb gra- 
ciously granted Mrs. Zaintree's request, 
gallantly intimating that he would turn the ship 
into a privateer to oblige her, and the late Ara- 
bella Greenleaf made short work of the objec- 
tions of the paternal Dorr. By the time they 
sighted the granite portal of Lake Superior, the 
flashing rapids of the " Soo " tumbling over 
the rocks, under the airy trestle of the Canadian 
Pacific on the right, and the white houses and 
green park of Ste. Marie lying to the left, every- 
thing was settled on board the Nautilus. Jack 
was to take an extra berth in the Captain's cabin 
and resign his own to his parents like a dutiful 
son. He fully appreciated the advantages of 
the new arrangement, throwing him, as it 
v^'ould, into extra confidential relations with 
the navigator of the Nautilus. It would help 
him to maintain his grip on the situation. He 
foresaw that the management of two sets of par- 
ents, on the same ship, under the critical eyes 
of the crew, would require the greatest coolness 

91 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

on his part. Not that he felt any great anxiety, 
or perplexity, or unusual responsibility. Alto- 
gether it was the most delightful and inspiring 
emergency that Mr. Jack Dorr had ever figured 
in. He fairly revelled in it. Instead of per- 
plexing him it nerved him and cooled his 
brain. 

While the steamers lay below the lock he 
found time to go across the park with Captain 
Webb and look at his Irish setter, and buy it 
too, at a rather exorbitant figure, not because 
he wanted it, but because that stroke of liberal- 
ity on his part would establish him the more 
firmly in the good graces of the Captain. 

On their return with the superfluous dog he 
found his mother on board. The two ladies 
were so absorbed in each other that while the 
sinall fleet of steamers was rising on the boiling 
surface of the lock they had shut themselves up 
in the cabin. Jack and his two governors, on 
the contrary, took a lively interest in the pas- 
sage through the great granite gateway of the 
lakes. Nothing escaped them, from the hy- 
draulic working of the lock to the shining sol- 
diers ogling the village girls, and the Chippewa 
half-breeds hawking fish freshly taken from the 
rapids. They looked regretfully upon the last 
barefooted urchin of Ste. Marie watching his 
92 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

bobber in the sunlight as they steamed away 
through the open draw of the Canadian Pacific, 
and passed the hght-house onto the bosom of 
the greatest of the lakes. 

Fully determined as Jack was to guard the 
secret of Mrs. Zaintree, he had no idea of neg- 
lecting any favorable opportunity to complicate 
the situation still further. His serenity always 
increased as he succeeded in multiplying diffi- 
culties, and he proposed to give his genius for 
comedy full play. He saw a rather humorous 
possibility at hand, but he was never in a hur- 
ry, and after looking thoughtfully down at the 
green water slipping by, he spent a lazy after- 
noon reading in the warm sunshine on deck. 

In the evening he joined the Captain's watch. 
The moonlight silvered the smooth surface of 
the lake ; here and there the lights of a steamer 
twinkled in the hazy offing ; a huge banner of 
black smoke trailed back against the canopy of 
countless stars, and so still was it that the tick- 
ing of the wood - work could be heard as the 
great boat warped along. The listening ears in 
the shadowy wheel-house were not in the least 
annoying to Jack ; he found it perfectly con- 
venient to ignore them. 

He yawned and broke the silence : 

" Rather agreeable elderly people we took 

93 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

on board to-day? " (Pause and more silence.) 
" Wouldn't spot the old lady for a bride now, 
would you, skipper? " 

" Go 'way," said the Captain, rousing to the 
occasion. 

" Fact," said Jack, " we met her abroad 
last year. Old maid then. Second matri- 
monial trip for the governor. Yes, skipper, 
they are on their wedding-journey now." 

" Well," said the Captain, after a pause, 
" we'll have to make it as pleasant for 'em as 
we can." 

That very night as Jack lay on his bed, toss- 
ing restlessly about in his new and rather nar- 
row quarters, he heard the music of accordions 
swelling up from the direction of the after- 
cabins. The Captain was sleeping soundly after 
his watch, and the see-saw droning of the mu- 
sic was so satisfactory to Jack's mind, and withal 
so soothing to his spirit, that he fell asleep him- 
self and dreamed that he was leading a sere- 
nade. 

Anybody could see with half an eye that 
something had occurred to put new life in the 
crew of the Nautilus. The stokers sang more 
lustily at their work. The deck-hands were 
noisier than ever in the gangway of the fore- 
castle and prolonged their orgies to a later hour. 

94 



The Wedding journey of Mrs. Zaintree 



Old Wilhelm's bald head sparkled in the sun 
like a binnacle that contained a secret. The 
Captain had a provokingly knowing look in his 
eye, and the ship itself forged ahead as if it 
were informed through all its timbers with a 
new life and energy. 

For a plain sailor - man Captain Webb was 
rather profuse in his attention to the elder lady 
on board. And this extra devotion did not 
escape the observation of the younger lady. 

To Mrs. Zaintree the crew were plain, civil 
men, while Mrs. Dorr confessed to her friend 
that there was an indescribable something in 
their manner that made her uncomfortable. 
She might be too sensitive, but she couldn't 
overcome the feeling. As to that German 
woman, the cook, her manners were dreadful. 
When Jack had come into the cabin that morn- 
ing and kissed her, his own mother (which was 
very nice of him, it was so very unusual), that 
creature had sniffed and walked out of the room 
with the air of a woman insulted. To this Mrs. 
Zaintree replied by reminding her friend that, 
so far as Jack was concerned, they had ex- 
changed places for the trip. In the light of 
this forgotten arrangement Mrs. Dorr could 
overlook the conduct of the cook, but it was 
a horrid boat and she should be glad to get 

95 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

ashore ; and Mrs. Zaintree, too, began to feel that 
the situation was anything but a pleasant one. 

The Captain was conscious that both ladies 
treated him with a degree of restraint, and held 
themselves aloof in a rather puzzling way. If 
there was anything wrong with the ladies, the 
three gentlemen were doing all they could to 
make up for it. Three more affable and down- 
right jolly gentlemen, the Captain was forced to 
admit, had never gone up on his boat. As to 
women, in the abstract, he was driven to the 
conclusion that it was a mistake to have them 
on board. 

When he confided to Jack that there was a 
screw loose somewhere, and that his navigation 
among the women was a failure, that young 
gentleman entered feelingly into the subject of 
his perplexity, and suggested that the bride 
might be offended because he had not suffi- 
ciently acknowledged her state on board. 
Some little complimentary demonstration, he 
thought, might make it all right. As that 
night's dinner would be the last on board, 
Jack proposed to make it an extra festive occa- 
sion, and volunteered to stand by his friend to 
the best of his ability. Old Wilhelm was 
called up and given the necessary directions. 
Jack spread the news of the dinner among the 
96 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

guests, and when the ladies encountered the 
Captain on deck they thanked him so graciously 
that he felt that whatever misunderstanding 
there might have been, was healed already. 
Jack was a wonderful manager, and the good 
feeling on board mounted to enthusiasm. It 
was a day of days on the great lake. Still 
w^ater under a cloudless sky. A mirage here 
and a mirage there, and the ship's glass pass- 
ing from hand to hand. Steamers in the dis- 
tance assumed all sorts of fantastic shapes, and 
bore down on them in the form of curious 
covered barges, and loomed up with as many 
as four decks, and shifted themselves into 
Spanish galleons, and then gradually put off" all 
disguise and steamed by, the very counterparts 
of the Nautilus. 

If Mrs. Zaintree composed herself to read in 
the shade of the bridge, the show began again 
in the great azure amphitheatre. Some far- 
away tow of schooners climbed up into a tower 
of canvas or turned slow somersaults in the 
hazy distance and then melted away in the act 
of turning. Jack said that it was a very credit- 
able little circus to usher in the Captain's dinner, 
which differed in this respect from dinners on 
shore, where the mirage commonly unfolded 
itself afterward. 

97 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

It was a long time after the green-and-gold 
parrot cried: "Make way for the Captain," 
before that promoter of the feast got himself 
into a sufficiently genial and convivial state of 
mind to lead off in the speaking. The Captain 
was so long, in fact, in coming to the point 
that Jack took the floor in his behalf, and made 
one of his characteristic after-dinner speeches, 
in which he said, among other things, that his 
friend, Captain Webb, of the Nautilus, was 
well aware of the interesting relations sustained 
by certain parties on board his ship ; that there 
were some things which could not be concealed 
from so shrewd an observer as the Captain ; 
that his friend the Captain had sought in every 
way to serve the Commodore's guests, and that, 
in tendering this little testimonial dinner to 
the lady who was the distinguished guest of the 
occasion, he trusted that the others would join 
him in congratulations and good wishes ; and, 
finally, he begged to say in behalf of his 
parents on board, that the courtesy and kind- 
ness of the Captain and the marked attention of 
the crew could never be forgotten by him or 
by them. 

As Jack sat down without having drawn out 
any of the applause which his ingenious speech 
merited, the Captain arose promptly and pro- 
98 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 



posed the health of the bride in a (ew well- 
chosen remarks, during which he looked hard 
across the table at Mr. and Mrs. Dorr, who 
smiled in return and thought it a very clever 
nautical way of taking them into his confidence 
at the expense of the Colonel, and not so try- 
ing to the bride as if he had stared directly at 
her. 

Of course the Colonel felt called upon to 
respond, which he did, after a brief hesitation, 
by proposing the health of Captain Webb of 
the Nautilus, which sentiment Mr. and Mrs. 
Dorr applauded so heartily that the Captain was 
fain to be satisfied with their response by proxy, 
although he was a good deal surprised that an 
ex-Governor should not be a fluent after-dinner 
speaker. 

The Captain was mightily pleased with the 
success of his little banquet, and his guests were 
so surprisingly jolly over it that he felt himself 
quite a social lion. They were so very merry 
that they would never desert him until they 
got the first glimpse of the far-away lights of 
Duluth. Jack and his two governors, with 
their cigars, and the ladies in warm wraps, 
kept the deck far into the night, and made it 
very lively for the men at the wheel. The 
long lines of electric lights on the granite hill- 

99 



The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree 

side flashed row above row, and shot long 
lances into the lake, and the great shadowy 
elevators were piled up against the western sky 
before ever the Captain was left alone to ponder 
on the wonderful cleverness of Jack's manage- 
ment, and rub his hands in gleeful memory of 
his own shrewdness and penetration. 

"A bridal party go up on my boat and I 
not know it at sight! " thought the Captain. 
"Not much — not if they were turned of 
ninety." 

"You are a sly one, Governor Dorr," he 
muttered to himself as he was parting with his 
guests on the wharf next morning. " Mighty 
sly, Governor, but you must get the rice out 
of your hair before you come on board the 
Nautilus." 

And to Mrs. Zaintree, he said : 

" You are a pattern mother of a pattern son, 
ma'am, and if I did think you a bit unfeeling 
when Jack was coming on board it's because 
I'm not a society man, ma'am, and didn't 
know the thoroughbred trick." 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 



UNCLE OBADIAH'S UNCLE BILLY 

THE spare figure of the old man on the 
houseless country road, pushing on into 
the twilight with a weary, swinging tread, was 
as erect under its Aveight of fourscore years 
as that of any boy of fifty. The spare figure 
melted into the leafless woods, and reappeared 
a little later on the hill, very tall and very mys- 
terious- against the fading light. A knapsack as 
thin and shrunken as the muscles of the old 
man clung close to his square shoulders, and 
the bronze star, made of the metal of captured 
cannon, rattled against a medal for personal ser- 
vice, and the music cheered his old heart. 

Although it was not yet the first of March, 
the rank smell of the mellow earth proclaimed 
the absence of frost, and the brook at the road- 
side ran swollen and yellow between its banks. 
The old man in blue asked the way to the vil- 
lage of a boy who was trotting in the gravel be- 
hind the crackling hoofs of a white cow, and 
then added in a weary voice : 

"Perhaps you might know, my lad, of a 

103 



Uncle Ohadiab'^ Uncle Billv 



youngster hereabouts of the name of Frederick 
Brown ? ' ' 

But the boy only stared, and then ran away, 
as if he had seen a ghost. He did not know 
Private Obadiah Brown, of six wounds and one 
medal : one wound received in storming the 
outworks of Atlanta ; four, in the heart, for the 
sons he had buried on as many bloody fields ; 
and the sixth for his youngest boy, " missing " 
after the battle. And this was the wound that 
had never healed, and this was the boy he had 
never given up. All the years that had passed 
since his discharge, with unfaltering courage 
and undying hope he had kept up the weary 
search, growing old and childish, with a youth 
of twenty in his vision, who should have been 
a man of fifty — so completely had the two 
changed places. He had passed the short win- 
ters at many soldiers' homes in many States, 
ready to start afresh in the spring on roads 
that led through new towns and cities, armed 
with the bronze star and the countersign and 
the fraternal grip, potent to open the doors and 
the hearts of the Grand Army posts. 

Although in his restless journeying he was al- 
Avays coming to some new town or lodging- 
place, it better fits his character of wanderer 
that he was always leaving friends and firesides 

104 



U7icle Obadiab's Uncle Billy 



— the known behind and the unknown fleeing 
before him — always going, going. 

While the form of the boy faded into the 
bosky landscape, the cow grew whiter with the 
growing darkness, and preceded the old man 
like a cloud by night, until he came in sight of 
the village belfry sprinkled around with early 
stars. It was too dark to see the face of the 
clock, but as he approached the hammer beat 
three strokes, and then was still. 

This was encouraging. 

The tavern was a little further on, and Pri- 
vate Obadiah Brown turned in at the open door. 
The landlord was behind the dismantled bar, 
trimming the oil-lamps. The quick eye of the 
old man caught the light on a small bronze but- 
ton in the lapel of the landlord's coat, and the 
landlord took in the star and medal on the 
other's breast, and the two men were friends in 
an instant, and, no customers being present to 
interfere, were promptly off on their old cam- 
paigns, with chuckles, and hand-shakes, and 
"you bets," and "Grant fit it out on them 
lines, shure," and "They couldn't fool Uncle 
Billy." 

The tavern-keeper forgot to offer the fly- 
blown register, which had not secured an au- 
tograph in a week, with the spluttering pen out 

105 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 



of the tumbler of bird-shot, and the old man 
forgot his knapsack and his hunger and his 
rheumatics, until the more important functions 
of comradeship had been duly performed to 
their common satisfaction. 

Private Obadiah Brown felt refreshed when 
supper was done. Indeed, he had not been 
overtired on his arrival, late as the hour was, 
for he had walked only a few miles since he had 
mended his last clock. 

About the soft-coal fire, which flickered and 
blazed in the open grate before the bar, a few 
of the old soldiers thereabouts, with metal but- 
tons on their vests, had chanced in for an even- 
ing's lounge, and were ready to give a fraternal 
greeting to Uncle Obadiah when that ancient 
veteran should reappear. 

The blacksmith, who had been a sergeant in 
a light battery, by a sort of acknowledged vil- 
lage supremacy was the first to present himself. 

" I reckon, comrade," he said, as he put 
out his great hairy arm, and the two exchanged 
the regulation grip, " as how you must outrank 
us all, countin' by years." 

" I'm turned of eighty," said Uncle Obadiah, 

straightening himself with soldierly pride, and 

looking across at the old boys, each standing 

unconsciously at "attention" in front of his 

1 06 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 



arm-chair. " Old enough to be a major-giner- 
al, an' not too old nur too proud to be a high 
private." 

"This here old vet," continued thesergeant- 
blacksmith, giving a hearty whack to the first 
old farmer's back, "is Comrade Stover of the 
8ist Infantry, an' he'll give ye all the hand 
he's got, an' he can drive a pair o' young 
hosses as well as the next one ; an' him with 
the bow legs," giving Uncle Obadiah a sly 
poke in the ribs, " is Comrade Hitch of the 
Fourteenth Cavalry (never run no great resk o' 
bein' hurt). An' this next one, on crutches, is 
Comrade Cist from Georgy, as fit on the other 
side, an' left his leg on Missionary Ridge. ' ' 

"I'm truly sorry 'bout the leg, comrade," 
cried Uncle Obadiah, marching over to give an 
extra-energetic shake to the last man's hand, 
"an' I've no doubt you did yer duty as you 
saw it. But, comrades, I had a boy, an' he 
was the last o' five, jest risen twenty, who 
went into that fight on Missionary, as bright 
and chipper as a lark, an' ef he'd 'a' left a leg 
there I'd 'a' had somethin' to remember him 
by ; but instead he jest disappeared out o' hand, 
comrades, an' it's him I'm lookin' for. Jest 
risen twenty — favors me when I was that old — 
light-complected, with blue eyes — powerful 
107 



U}icle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 



chipper, and answers to the name o' Frederick 
Brown. Have airy one o' you comrades seen 
or heard of sich a boy goin' by the name o' 
Frederick Brown ? " 

The comrades maintained a respectful silence, 
and the eager look of inquiry which had over- 
spread the old man's face faded into an ex- 
pression of weariness, and with a deep-drawn 
sigh he sank into a chair. 

" It's all right, comrades : I didn't much 
think you knew my boy, but if I could once 
meet up with Uncle Billy, he'd tell me all 
about him. Uncle Billy knew him well. He 
hilt his horse one day. No one once seein' 
my boy could easy forgit him, an' Uncle Billy 
never forgot a human being as did him a favor. 
They say he was terrible crusty sometimes, and 
them under-ginerals was mortal afeared of him 
when he was riled, but he always had a smile 
an' a kind word for the boys. I might 'a' 
writ him a letter about Frederick, but writin' 
wouldn't be like talkin' to Uncle Billy face to 
face; an', you see, I wanted to see him once 
more afore I died, an' appeal to him like a 
father to a father, an' show him that I kep' the 
old medal faithful." Uncle Obadiah lifted the 
bronze coin from his breast and gazed fondly 
on his treasure. 

io8 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 



" Uncle Billy didn't just give it to me with 
his own hands, comrades, but he had a letter 
writ to the whole army givin' it from him to 
me. I was young then, comrades — only fifty- 
two — an' when the gineral's aide pinned it on 
my blouse front before the colonel an' the 
whole regiment — parade rest — he gave me an- 
other letter, an' ev'ry word of it was writ by 
Uncle Billy with his own name signed to it : 
' William Tecumseh Sherman, Major-Gineral 
Commanding, to Private Obadiah Brown.' An' 
I hain't never parted with that letter, comrades, 
not for a day." 

With trembling fingers Uncle Obadiah un- 
buttoned his tightly fitting, threadbare, military- 
looking coat, and drew from the breast pocket 
a formidable package, from which he undid 
wrapper after wrapper until he came to an 
official paper, yellow with age. Then he got 
up and shuffled over to the bar, with all the 
comrades crowding eagerly about him ; and 
after the boards had been wiped clear of dust 
and moisture, he spread the precious paper out 
on its tattered wrappers. 

" Uncle Billy didn't write a copy hand, 

boys," said the old man, gloating over the 

eager study of the veterans as they spelled out 

the words. " My Frederick could 'a' give' 

109 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 



him lessons; but there 'tis, comrades, an' 
there's his whole name put to it. If he didn't 
write a copy hand, he could command an army. 
Uncle Billy could." 

The landlord, the blacksmith. Comrade Sto- 
ver, and Comrade Hitch of the cavalry, every- 
one a veteran of the Army of the Tennessee, 
and Comrade Cist from Georgia, leaning on his 
crutches, regarded the yellow paper with as much 
reverence as if it had been a newly discovered 
chapter of the sacred Scriptures, and in their 
eyes Uncle Obadiah was as big a man as a 
prophet. 

Each old soldier who wore the bronze button 
had something to tell to the praise and glory 
of his old commander and personal Uncle Billy, 
and Private Obadiah Brown told them how in 
'86 he had tramped all the way to St. Louis to 
see the general and find out the secret of his 
boy's whereabouts, and how his idol had just 
sold his Western home and gone to live in a 
far-off Eastern city ; how he had been hoarding 
his money ever since, what he could save from 
his earnings and his pension, and how the sum 
was nearly large enough for the stupendous un- 
dertaking of a journey by rail to New York, 
where he very soon expected to see his Uncle 
Billy face to face, and to put an end to the 



Uncle OhadiaVs Uncle Billy 

mystery ; for he had no doubt of the absolute 
omniscience of his old commander. 

"Well, now, Comrade Brown," said Com- 
rade Stover, knocking the ash out of his pipe 
on the heel of his cowhide boot, ' ' when you 
git to see old Uncle Billy, you can tell him 
that when you was out here in Ohio you met 
up with one of the marchin' Eighty-first, an' 
that his legs was good as new." 

" There was a man here a couple o' year 
back," said the landlord, leaning over the bar 
until his face was inscrutable in the shadow, 
" what had been on to New York, an' he told 
me that he seen old Uncle Billy a-settin' in a 
gold box to the theatre with his regimentals on, 
an' his yaller belt, an' that folks looked at the 
gold box more'n they did at the play. An' 
how, by an' by, the West Point cadets, settin' 
down below, jumped up an' hurrahed for Gin- 
eral Sherman, till the play had to stop whilst 
Uncle Billy made a speech. He said the gin- 
eral talked to them kids as plain as any old 
farmer, givin' 'em good advice, his little beads 
o' eyes twinklin' in his head, an' his hook-nose 
rangin' over his stubby white mustache an' 
beard, like a ten-pounder Parrot squintin' over 
slashed timber." 

" Hooray ! " piped Uncle Obadiah, bright- 
III 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 

ening up ; " they couldn't flank Uncle Billy ef 
they had him shet up in a nest o' gold boxes." 

" That's a fact," said the landlord ; " ef old 
Uncle Billy hadn't ordered them cadets to 
keep quiet, the theatre wouldn't 'a' been let 
out yet." 

It was pleasant to see how kindly the old 
soldiers took to Uncle Obadiah, and how well 
they agreed with one another, and, in short, 
what very mild old fellows they were, not\\ith- 
standing their youthful exploits. 

" It's gittin' ruther late," observed the tav- 
ern - keeper at last, turning down one of the 
dingy oil - lamps to emphasize his meaning. 
" Comrade Brown ain't leavin' us jest yet, 
havin' a considerable engagement 'long o' the 
town clock. When he gits that strikin' right 
ag'in. Hitch an' Cist '11 have to go to bed at 
nine, or have a fallin' out with the meetin' 
folks." 

So the old comrades quietly filed out into 
the night, leaving Private Obadiah Brown to 
get some needed rest before he undertook the 
job of mending in the belfry. While he was 
waiting for his host to show him the way to 
bed, he fell to hstening, in a half-conscious 
way, to the frying of the fat coal in the grate, 
and to the sound of the rising wind outside as 



Uncle Obadiab's Uncle Billy 



it rattled the wooden shutters against the win- 
dows. His chin was setthng on his breast for 
weariness when the stumping sound of a crutch 
on the platform outside brought Iiim back to 
himself, and the door was gently pushed open 
to admit the head of Comrade Cist from Geor- 
gia, who said that if he should not see him in 
the morning he reckoned he wouldn't forget to 
show the general that letter. 

When Private Obadiah Brown awoke, the 
sun was shining brightly, and the crazy old 
town clock was striking two. It had just got 
on to three bells, an hour later, when Comrade 
Stover drove by with a wagon-load of wood. 

" It's a-callin' to ye," cried Comrade Sto- 
ver, gayly saluting with the stump of his right 
forearm. " 'Pears like it's ruther short o' 
breath, Comrade Brown. Putty nigh time ye 
was gittin' yer invalid hospital set up in the 
belfry, an' runnin' out the yaller flag — he! 
he ! The ball's open." 

The sun was unusually warm for a morning 
in February, and the ice that had beaten in, in 
the form of sleet, and had crusted the wooden 
shield above the works of the old clock, was 
melting drop by drop and spattering on the 
belfry floor, where Uncle Obadiah had opened 
his thin knapsack and spread out his small 

113 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 

store of professional tools and cords and wheels. 
The air as it came in through the bhstered 
green blinds had no power to chill the thin- 
nest blood in the oldest veins. Uncle Obadiah 
had climbed upon a short ladder, and beaten 
down a last year's swallow's nest or two, be- 
fore he put on his " spec's " to take a critical 
look at the works and to plan his campaign. 
The ropes which held the weights were cer- 
tainly badly worn, and must be replaced with 
new ones. It taxed the old man's strength to 
lift the heavy iron and detach it from the rusty 
hook. He had just accomplished the separa- 
tion, and held the weight poised over the open- 
ing in the floor cut away for its natural descent 
between the old beams and braces, when the 
urchin who had refused to direct him to the 
village came clambering up the stairs, all out 
of breath. 

"I say, granddad — now — General Sher- 
man's dead." 

Down fell the iron weight, splintering the 
wood and crashing through the plastering, and 
making the old stairs rock and shiver as if the 
belfry itself were tumbling. Uncle Obadiah 
backed down until his feet rested on the firm 
boards, and glared through his glasses at the 
frightened boy. 

114. 



Uncle ObadiaVs Uncle Billy 



" You ought to be whipped, you rascal ! 
I'm eighty year " 

" It's true," said the boy. " Si Wilkins, 
the tavern-keeper, told me to come an' tell 
ye." 

Uncle Obadiah tottered over to the wall, 
and looked down through the blinds, mutter- 
ing in his incredulity as he went. There stood 
Comrade Stover's team alone in the road. A 
woman at a house door was shading her eyes 
with her hand and looking out, much as he 
was. The blacksmith, bareheaded, was run- 
ning up the path from his shop with a red-hot 
horseshoe in his pincers. 

Uncle Obadiah began to fear the truth, and 
to feel his way down the rickety belfry stairs. 

" No, no ! " he muttered to himself; " he 
was young, an' I'm risin' eighty. Perhaps ye 
might 'a' heard of a youngster by the name of 
Frederick Brown. No, no ! It ain't true." 

The clock-weight had burst its way through 
lath and wooden ceilings, and as the old man 
tottered out upon the sunlit porch, it lay in his 
path on the shattered planks. 

The railway ran through the valley, a mile 
from the village, but there was no telegraph- 
operator at the small station. The news had 
come over from a neighboring town, and come 

11? 



Uncle Obadiab's Uncle Billy 



so tardily that there was a rumor of the great 
military funeral in New York, which should, 
that very morning, be passing down the long 
avenue, between the ranks of the uncovered 
multitude, amidst the tolling of bells and the 
beating of muffled drums, a flowing stream of 
funeral dirges. In truth, at the very moment 
when the clock-weight fell from the hand of 
Uncle Obadiah, eight sergeants were raising 
all that remained of his Uncle Billy, draped 
in the folds of the flag he had loved, to its place 
aloft on the caisson catafalque. The artillery 
drivers were in their saddles ready at the word 
to draw the caisson down the long avenue, as 
a soldier should take his last ride. The black 
charger stood behind, and all the city streets 
for miles were massed with posts of grizzled 
veterans, and the serried ranks of national 
troops and sailors from the fleet, and the brill- 
iant regiments of citizen soldiery, and the his- 
toric corps of cadets, come to honor the last 
American general, whom they had long re- 
garded as their military father — the same Un- 
cle Billy whom they had cheered until they 
■were hoarse, in his gold box. 

When Uncle Obadiah shuffled out upon the 
sunlit porch, past the fallen clock - weight, 
all this was going on five hundred miles away, 
116 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 



in the presence of the President of the Repub- 
lic, the judges of the Supreme Court, the sena- 
tors and generals and representatives of the 
people, and Uncle Obadiah was as unaware 
of it all as was Uncle Billy himself. 

The blacksmith shut up his shop. Comrade 
Stover drove his empty wagon home, and 
returned to the village. Comrade Hitch of 
the cavalry left his plough in the furrow, and 
came up to the general rendezvous with his 
bronze star pinned to his coat. Si Wilkins fur- 
bished up his metal button, and bought some 
yards of black cloth, with a surprising reckless- 
ness of cost, to drape the front of his tavern. 
Comrade Cist from Georgia covered up his 
leather-seated bench, and hobbled over to the 
tavern, to find Uncle Obadiah crooning over 
the fire, with trembling lips and a dazed look 
in his watery eyes. 

"I can't ever show him the letter," mut- 
tered Uncle Obadiah when he saw the other, 
"nor yet the medal, give' from him to me, 
I've kep' so long. Have any of you comrades 
heard of a youngster that answers to the name 
o' Frederick Brown ? " 

There was no more work for the old com- 
rades that day, and when, later, news came 
that the funeral train bearing the remains of 
117 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 

their old general was already speeding on its 
way from the banks of the Hudson to the 
shores of the Mississippi, flying through the 
great cities and the smallest villages, and never 
halting except to exchange one powerful en- 
gine for another, and that the way of the swift 
pageant lay over the line in the valley, they 
knew that Sherman Post — their post — would 
come marching over from the county town 
with all the comrades, and the old flags, and 
the fifes and drums, and they began making 
preparations to receive them. 

With furled flags and more black cloth they 
draped the little railway station, and helped 
Comrade Si Wilkins to provision his tavern for 
a larger crowd than it had held for many a 
day. 

It was a long line of graybeards that flanked 
the supper- table, and the lamplight danced 
on stars and medals and badges and no end 
of brass buttons. Private Obadiah Brown sat 
at the head of the board, and, by way of grace, 
asked if any one of the comrades present had 
heard of " a youngster answerin' to the name 
o' Frederick Brown," and ate but little, and 
had his knapsack fetched from the belfry floor, 
because he said he should not feel dressed with- 
out it. 

ii8 



Untie Obadiah's Uncle Billy 



The funeral train was full three hundred 
miles away, and it was early bedtime, despite 
the silence of the village clock, when ranks 
were formed in front of the tavern door. Com- 
rade Cist from Georgia, who couldn't hope 
to keep up with the march, and didn't feel 
sure that he belonged in the column, together 
with Uncle Obadiah, whose impatience out- 
ran that of all the others, had already started 
on before. The post's new banner was furled 
and draped in black, but the tattered old bat- 
tle-flags, in all their homely nakedness, fluttered 
free beneath their old eagles, showing along 
the frayed-out stripes at least half the letters 
of each of the famous battles of the Army of 
the Tennessee. Away ahead in the darkness 
Comrade Cist and Uncle Obadiah heard the 
regular thump, thump of the bass drum, and 
held up their heads and quickened their pace 
with the old instinct born of martial habit. 

''Jest to think," said Uncle Obadiah, feel- 
ing his shuffling way in the darkness, "Uncle 
Billy is comin' tearin' like them snortin' en- 
gines used to come into a captured town, 
loaded down with commissaries." 

"Jest to think," mused Comrade Cist from 
Georgia, stumping on his crutches. 

" An he was a young man," continued Un- 
119 



Uncle ObaJiab's Uncle Billv 



cle Obadiah, "an' I'm turned of eighty, an' 
keepin' good time yet ; an' him — did I say 
eighty? — tutt — I'm only fifty, an' Uncle Billy 
a matter o' forty. Harkee, prisoner, you'll see 
a sight when Uncle Billy comes, ridin' in front 
of his ginerals — mighty stiff and plain himself, 
but miles o' horses an' acres o' gold lace an' 
plumes behind him. Did they say you fit on 
t'other side ? An' ruther badly hurt, I guess 
— never you worry, boy ; I'll make it right 
with Uncle Billy. I'll tell him how you did 
yer duty as you saw it, an' he'll send you back 
to hospital." 

" I'm much obleeged," said Comrade Cist 
from Georgia. 

"Halt! Rest!" commanded Uncle Oba- 
diah. " It's black as cats. What regiment is 
that a-marchin' by ? It does me good to hear 
the belts an' canteens rattle. They're his sol- 
diers, prisoner, but they'll treat you like a 
prince, because you're hurt. I wonder if any 
o' them comrades have heard of a youngster 
that answers to the name o' Frederick Brown. 
What matter ? Uncle Billy is comin' to tell me 
all about it — an' I'm eighty — fifty — how old 
am I, comrade? " 

" I reckon you're turned of eighty," said 
Comrade Cist from Georgia. 



Uncle Obad tab's Uncle Billy 



" It may be," said Uncle Obadiah. 

Before the post drew up at the station, a 
cold, drizzling rain had set in, and the little 
waiting-room was already filled. The way- 
trains had passed ft-om east and west, bearing 
news of what was going on along the line. To 
the east, the general's old veterans were massing 
in city and village, in the night and in the 
storm, baring their heads and dipping their 
ragged flags to the flying special as it flashed 
through the darkness ; and to the west, when 
the day should dawn, the school-children, with 
songs and winter flowers, would reinforce the 
Grand Army. 

The old soldiers built ruddy fires alongside 
the track, laying ruthless hands on broken 
fence-rails and discarded railroad ties, and con- 
structed shelters from the rain as promptly as 
they had ever thrown up ten miles of log and 
earth breastworks under Uncle Billy's orders ; 
and Private Obadiah Brown — six wounds and 
one medal — and Comrade Cist from Georgia — 
two crutches and one leg — were snugly housed 
in the warmest corner by the first fire. 

And so while the silent sergeants were stand- 
ing guard in the draped funeral car, heavy with 
the odor of flowers, and the rivers and towns 
were flowing east under the wheels of the glid- 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 

ing train, the simple veterans, around the 
smoky fires hissing with raindrops, were singing 
the old songs, as they waited with throbbing 
hearts : " Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are 
marching," "■ John Brown's body lies a-molder- 
ing in the ground," and " We are tenting to- 
night on the old camp-ground." 

As the long night wore on, each one had 
some story to tell of the old days ; and it was 
Uncle Billy here and Uncle Billy there — 
Uncle Billy in his shirt-sleeves on the porch of 
his log hut, and Uncle Billy at the head of his 
brilliant staff, surrounded by his generals, and 
all the roads full of cavalry, and all the air full 
of music. 

Once Uncle Obadiah fell asleep, and awoke 
with a start, and with the old question on his 
lips, to find the blacksmith replenishing the 
fire, and Comrade Stover punctuating his story 
with the stump of his right arm, and Comrade 
Cist from Georgia snoring lustily at his side. 

" Somethin' might 'a' happened to the 
road," said Uncle Obadiah ; " but he wasdref- 
ful quick at buildin' bridges an' layin' gaps o' 
track. Uncle Billy ain't a-travellin' to-night 
without a construction train ahead." And 
then, laying his hand on the blacksmith's arm, 
" Don't let me forgit to show him the medal 



Uncle ObadiaJj's Uncle Billy 

an' the letter writ from him to me. You're 
strong an' young, an' you must make me a 
way through the ginerals. I must have a word 
with him, comrade, face to face. I've been 
a-waitin' thirty year " 

" Uncle Obadiah ain't jest awake yit," ob- 
served Comrade Stover. 

" He's gone clean daft, has Comrade 
Brown," said the blacksmith, dropping the 
heavy stick he held over the hissing fire, and 
standing stiff and black against the leaping 
flames. And then, in a louder tone: "This 
here is a bad storm. Comrade Brown ; have ye 
made out to keep dry and warm ? ' ' 

" I've seen worse," said Uncle Obadiah. 
"I've seen worse. There was Kenesaw an' the 
storm o' Vicksburg. What are we lyin' here 
for?" cried the old man, starting to his feet. 
" We'll have our orders quick enough when 
Uncle Billy gits here. Have you heard the 
batteries yet, boys ? " 

" Never mind the batteries," said the black- 
smith, putting out his strong arm to restrain 
Private Obadiah Brown, who would have gone 
out into the rain. " The colonel's got his 
orders. We're to lay right here till Uncle 
Billy comes. Didn't you see the orderly ride 
by?" 

123 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billv 



"Yes, I did," said Uncle Obadiah ; "I 
heard his sabre jingle, an' the spatter of the 
water as his horse trotted past. I thought I 
saw the yellow envelope stuffed underneath his 
belt." 

" So you did," said the blacksmith, as he 
and Comrade Stover gently forced the old man 
back to his seat. "We're to stay right here 
till Uncle Billy comes. Them's his orders." 

" His orders," muttered Uncle Obadiah, 
calming down with that assurance. " He 
won't be far behind his orders. I'll lay down 
alongside my prisoner, here, till the doctors 
come. They can't flank Uncle Billy." 

So the old man fell asleep with a childish 
trust in his great commander ; and that he 
might get the rest his old bones needed, his 
comrades talked in lower tones around the fire. 
Uncle Obadiah was not the only veteran asleep 
beside the fires, for the vigil had been a long 
one, and although the rain was falling steadily, 
there was just a perceptible graying of the dark- 
ness which betokened the near approach of day. 

Hark ! Miles to the east, where the next 

town lies, they hear the prolonged scream of a 

locomotive. Promptly the drum beats, but not 

so fast as the thumping hearts of the old soldiers. 

124 



Uncle Obadiah's Uncle Billy 

" That's Uncle Billy coming," breaks from 
every lip, and then every lip is still. 

To the bugle blowing the "assembly," the 
veterans fall silently in line, dressed on the old 
flags at the centre, the fires burning brightly 
behind them, and the rain falling steadily upon 
them. Each man is thinking his own thoughts. 
In the distance they hear the rolUng of the 
train, but the sound is scarcely louder than the 
hissing of the raindrops on the fires, or the 
tinkling of the bronze stars against the medals. 

Now it has turned the wall of the intervening 
mountain. The great engine pants in furious 
crescendo. The swelling roar of the monster 
is like the coming of a great shell. The daz- 
zling headlight glares through the trees. The 
iron rails, wet and slippery, turn to parallels of 
glittering gold. As if it were the passing spirit 
of their great commander, the fierce light flashes 
along the ranks of his old veterans, gleaming 
for an instant on bared heads and tearful faces, 
and gilding once more the fragmentary names 
of his battles on their ragged standards, and 
then leaves the old line in redoubled darkness. 

And, through it all, there are two beside the 
fires whom the bugles and the drum- beats fail to 
awaken. Of the two only one can be aroused, 
and that one Comrade Cist from Georgia. 

1-5 



The Missing Evidence in 
'' The People vs, Dangerking " 



THE MISSING EVIDENCE IN "THE 
PEOPLE FS. DANGERKING" 



IN the spring of 1891, after having spent the 
month of February in a run through 
southern Italy with my photographic outfit, I 
had returned to Rome with ten days at my dis- 
posal before my train left for Naples, where I 
had taken my return passage for New York. I 
had arrived in the night, and after sleeping 
until a rather late hour in the morning, had 
breakfasted in my room, so that it must have 
been something after ten o'clock when, camera 
in hand, I descended to the lobby of the hotel. 
After glancing at the register I seated myself 
before an open window and looked out on the 
modern Roman Concourse, with the comfort- 
able indifference of an experienced traveller, 
whose itinerary is irrevocably fixed to his entire 
satisfaction. If I felt any personal anxiety it 
was in no degree disquieting, and related only 
to the artistic quality of the exposures I had 
129 



" The People vs. Daugerkiug" 



made, and to the possibilities of the develop- 
ments with which I jiroposed to electrify my 
fellow-amateurs of the Club on my return. 

I was lazily considering where I should go 
for the day, in search of picturesque effects of 
light and shade nestling in environments suited 
to my taste, with entire indifference to, nay, 
even with a sort of professional contempt for, 
the historic monuments of the Eternal City, 
preferring a sleepy donkey in transparent half- 
lights, to the architectural glories of St. Peter's, 
when I realized that a figure had crossed the 
marble pavement and was standing at my side. 

"I beg your pardon," said the stranger, in 
a pleasant voice; "you are Dr. Lattimer, of 
the Amateur Photographers' Society of New 
York. I am Philip Coe, of St. Louis. I saw 
your Japanese work last winter at the Club's 
exhibition, and I am very glad to meet you." 

Whereupon Mr. Philip Coe and I shook 
hands, exchanged cards, and sat down to an 
animated discussion of developers and solutions 
and improved lenses, as if we had been known 
to each other for years instead of for minutes. 
My new-found enthusiast was rather a hand- 
some man, of rising thirty, a decided blond, 
of an easy and affable manner, unimpeachable 
costume, and having a clear gray eye which be- 
130 



" Tbe People vs. Danger king " 

tokens that order of quick intelligence which 
forms conclusions intuitively and acts promptly 
— in short, a man who, to use an Americanism, 
rarely " gets left " in his combinations. 

I am a particular admirer of that sort of man. 
I pride myself on keeping my faculties well in 
hand, such as they are, and acting in an emer- 
gency without any unnecessary delay. This 
similarity of temperament, then, together with 
similarity of pursuits, in our vacation time, 
commended Mr. Philip Coe, of St. Louis, to 
my esteem and approval, and his pleasant, un- 
obtrusive ways lent themselves to the daily im- 
provement of our agreeable relations during 
that week which we spent together in Rome. 
His collection of work was a very creditable 
one, and in the professional excursions we took 
together I was greatly impressed with the clev- 
erness he evinced in seizing the happy instant 
in a moving composition, and the entire ab- 
sence of that unfortunate hesitancy which too 
often renders the most experienced amateur a 
thought too late in his exposure. My com- 
panion was ahvaj's perfectly cool, with plenty 
of nerve and no perceptible nerves, and I ad- 
mired him for that distinguishing peculiarity. 

He confided to me that he had been in- 
terested in photography but little more than a 

131 



" The People vs. Danger hing" 



year. Having concluded a remarkably success- 
ful operation in stocks, he had retired from 
active business, and come abroad for the un- 
disturbed enjoyment of his new fad, in which 
he was ambitious to distinguish himself; and 
when he returned to America, he should rely 
on my friendly offices to make him a member 
of the New York Society. 

I had arranged to return to Naples to take 
my steamer, and to go down leisurely by rail 
the day before she sailed. 

Philip Coe had set no definite time for his 
return to America, but would be off in a few 
days for a flying visit to Algeria, and then it 
was his purpose to push up into Polish Russia 
for part of the .summer. At all events, with 
his admirable photographic outfit and his pro- 
fessional enthusiasm, I expected great things of 
his summer's work, which he would bring home 
before the winter meetings of the Society. He 
was altogether such a cool customer, so full of 
resource and tact and cleverness, that I had no 
fear for him on the burning sands of Africa or 
among the petty civil officers of the Czar, and 
I only ventured to advise him to avoid the 
neighborhood of military works as he would 
shun the plague. 

On the evening before we separated, as we 

132 



" The People vs. Dangerking" 

were lingering together over a last bottle of 
Asti Spumanti in the Trattorea Fiorelli, which 
had come to be a favorite resort in our wander- 
ings about Rome, my companion said: "By 
the way, Doctor, one never knows what those 
Muscovite officials may do in the way of seizing 
on a man's valuables. I have a paper in my 
pocket which I would be obliged to you if you 
would take charge of until I see you in New 
York." He searched the paper out from 
among others in his pocket-book and passed it 
over to me. La padrona brought an envelope 
in which I sealed up the paper, and Philip Coe 
wrote his name and the date across the end of 
the package, and soon after we turned out of 
No. 4 Via Colonnetti and made our way in the 
moonlight across the Corso and through the 
quaint streets leading to our hotel. 

On the following day but one, I boarded the 
Utopia at Naples en route for New York. The 
prospective passage was not wildly entrancing, 
with only seventeen cabin passengers on board 
and more than eight hundred emigrants in the 
steerage. 

We had fair weather and an uneventful pas- 
sage until the afternoon of Tuesday, March 
17 th, when the ship began to labor heavily 
against head - winds and high seas. Despite 



The People vs. Danger king" 



the rain which was driving in our teeth, I 
kept the deck until the great mass of Gibraltar 
loomed vaguely through the thick atmosphere 
off our starboard bow, and then, learning that 
the Captain had decided to stand into the 
harbor and lie by until morning, I retired to 
my cabin. It was now growing dark, but the 
lights were burning in the gangways and all 
was quiet below decks. I hoped the sky would 
clear by morning, so that I could try my 
camera on the famous fortress as well as on 
some of the English ironclads at anchor in the 
harbor. 

The bullseyes were closed, and the spume 
and spray were so thick outside that nothing 
could be seen beyond the streaming glass, and 
although the ship trembled from stem to stern 
as she labored against wind and current, I had 
such implicit confidence in the skill of her of- 
ficers and crew that I stretched myself on my 
berth with something of the comfortable feeling 
of a man before a glowing fire listening to the 
rain beating on the roof and to the wind howl- 
ing in the chimney. My eye fell on the par- 
ticular leather bag in which I had packed my 
precious, undeveloped negatives, standing on 
the floor over against the side of the ship, and 
lulled by the music of the storm, my imagina- 

134 



" The People vs. Dangerking" 



tion was revelling in the gradual development 
of the latent images imprisoned on the surfaces 
of those magical dry plates. The atmosphere 
of my state-room was more than comfortably 
warm, and I had removed my shoes and outer 
clothing the more perfectly to yield myself to 
the luxury of my surroundings. The laboring 
of the ship was indicated by such regularity of 
beating against head-seas, and such a soothing 
monotony of shivering throes that, when a 
thud broke the uniformity of sound followed 
by an entire change of motion and scurrying 
of feet on the deck above, I sprang out of my 
berth thoroughly alarmed, opened my door, 
and stepped into the gangway. I had caught 
up a heavy storm ulster, and turning this about 
me as I ascended to the deck, regardless of my 
stockinged feet, I looked out into the pelting 
rain. The blanched face of one of the officers 
as he hurried past me into the spume, which 
rendered objects at a few paces invisible, con- 
firmed my worst fears, and going quickly to 
the side of the ship, which was for the moment 
ominously steady, I looked over the rail. By 
instinct or by accident, I had arrived directly 
over the point of contact where the invisible 
monster had pierced the side of the Utopia, 
and indistinct as my vision was, I could see a 

135 



" The People vs. Danger king" 



vast dark cavity in the hull into which the 
whole broadside of the sea was pouring like a 
maelstrom. It may have been three minutes 
after the first shock of the collision, and while 
I moved forward by an instinct of repulsion 
from the inflowing torrent, when I thought I 
felt a perceptible settling of the ship. In the 
direction of what I believed to be the shore, a 
wet light made a soft yellowish spot in the 
blanket of spray. I remember with awful dis- 
tinctness the sounds that greeted my ears, in 
which the throb of the engines had no part, and 
the thoughts that flashed through my brain 
while my eyes were fixed on the warmth of 
that vague light. A babel of terrified voices 
rose from between decks, dulled in volume by 
the wind and rain. There was a sharp rattle 
like the passing of wheels, for which I can sug- 
gest no explanation, and suddenly I seemed to 
see the clear gray eyes of Philip Coe fixed on 
mine. 

There was another movement of the deck 
under my feet, I swung myself to the starboard 
rail by the foremast shrouds, and plunged out- 
ward into the sea. 

I remember the cold, strangling shock as my 
l)ody struck the water, the prickling sensation 
in my nose, the utter blackness instead of the 
136 



" The People vs. Dangerking" 

usual cool green color of the sea as I looked 

about me with wide-open eyes, while for an in- 
stant I stood upright, poised in its depth, and 
then the buoyant sensation of rising to the sur- 
face, which I hastened by a famiUar movement 
of the hands. As my head popped above the 
water a blinding sheet of spray struck me in 
the face like a whip-lash. Remembering that 
the ship had been steaming against a head-wind, 
blowing from nearly due east, I laid my course 
to the right across that of the wind, and turn- 
ing my face away from the blowing spray, I 
swam with an easy stroke in what I believed to 
be the direction of the shore. It was a scud- 
ding rather than a high sea, and with the back 
of my head laid over against the gusts of salt 
spume, I could breathe easily and had perfect 
confidence in my abihty to sustain myself for a 
half-hour, if I could hold out so long against 
the chilling influence of the March sea. I was 
so little disturbed in mind, that I distinctly 
remember the grotesque thought coming to me 
for the first time, that the day was the famous 
anniversary of St. Patrick. I thought I heard 
the splash of someone swimming behind me, 
but it was now so dark that I could scarcely see 
my length into the scud and gloom. I called 
twice, but got no answer. I had either been 

137 



" The People vs. Dangerking" 

mistaken or the other unfortunate had yielded 
to the waves, and gone down to a watery grave 
at the bottom of that treacherous sea. The 
thought was anything but reassuring, and as I 
already began to feel the benumbing effect of 
the cold, I inflated my lungs to their utmost 
and kicked my feet together to keep up circu- 
lation. 

Suddenly a strong light shot over the water 
from my right, defining a broad bar across the 
mist, and by the time I had turned to swim in 
that direction, a still brighter light shot out 
from the very course I had abandoned. I 
knew that these were search-lights from the 
English iron-clads at anchor in the roadstead. 
The friendly bars of light shifted about and in- 
creased in number, and desperate as my situa- 
tion was, brought to mind the bars of electric 
light lying out from the tower of Madison 
Square Garden on election night. Under their 
combined influence the surface of the sea took 
on a ghostly illumination, enabling me to look 
about me for some distance, although I could 
discern nothing in the direction Avhence the 
lights came. Just then I again heard the puff- 
ing of the swimmer behind me. I looked over 
my shoulder. A horribly black head protruded 
above the water, .set with two gleaming eyes 

138 



■' The People vs. Dangerkiiig" 



which suggested some sea-monster rather than a 
fellow-man. In another moment I recognized 
it as the head of a dog, and when presently it 
came alongside as if craving human help, or at 
least human companionship, I found myself in 
the company of a huge Newfoundland. His 
great brown eyes were full of appealing light, 
and turned on me as if he would have licked 
my face. I threw my arm over his neck, and 
called him "old chap," and I am sure we 
both felt better after that exchange of civilities. 
Stupid fellow that he was, he seemed to think 
that a little of my weight thrown across his 
shaggy shoulders insured his safety, and I felt that 
while I accepted his help for the time being, an 
opportunity would soon come when my good 
offices would be a sufficient return therefor. It 
was no longer a question of swimming only, but 
of endurance against the benumbing sea. I felt 
that I was growing weak. I knew my compan- 
ion would endure the cold longer than I could. 
A strong current was drifting us along under 
the brightest bar of light. I thought I saw 
something of the hull and spars of a great ship 
close in front of us. I cried aloud for help. I 
hooked my arm more tightly about the neck of 
the dog. I thought I saw a movement close 
upon us and then I lost consciousness, overcome 

139 



The People vs. Dmigerking " 



by the cold and exertion. I felt no sense of 
giving up or yielding to despair, but rather 
that I was falling into the arms of some myste- 
rious power to which I shifted all responsibility, 
so that, when I returned to consciousness, I was 
not in the least surprised to find myself snugly 
tucked away in a bunk of H. M. S. Camper- 
down. My first inquiry was for the fate of my 
swimming mate, who spoke for himself, project- 
ing his great paws on the bed and making va- 
rious dumb signs of joy at my awakening. The 
delightful sense of warmth enveloping body and 
brain seemed to represent the sum of all earthly 
bliss, and I straightway fell off into a deep sleep 
which lasted for twelve hours, so that, when I 
awoke again it was late in the day following 
the disaster, and the small proportion of the 
rescued to the number of souls on board the ill- 
fated ship, was already cared for. 

A rather nondescript suit of clothing lay 
across the foot of my bunk, consisting in part of 
a pair of sailor's blue trousers, a steamer cap, 
and a coat and vest of pepper-and-salt mixture, 
each garment in its own humorous way contrib- 
uting to the totality of a rather ludicrous misfit. 
As I made my way to the gun-deck, accompa- 
nied by the stately Newfoundland, and into the 
presence of her Majesty's officers, chagrin at my 

140 



" The People vs. Datigerking" 

personal appearance nearly overcame that more 
becoming sense of gratitude due to my deliv- 
erers. 

I had little time or inclination to think of 
my losses until after I had been ashore on the 
following morning, and telegraphed in a round- 
about way to New York for funds. First of all, 
and most deplorable, there were my precious 
negatives stowed away in the leather bag, only 
so many pieces of worthless glass. A clear 
actinic light, such as I delighted to operate in, 
bathed the straggling town lying under the 
great honeycombed rock, and sparkled on the 
now placid harbor where the vessels of the Chan- 
nel fleet rode at anchor ; but, alas ! my camera 
was at the bottom of the sea. The main spars 
of the Utopia were just showing above the 
wreck, about which there was a congregation 
of boats, and divers were busily searching for 
bodies. 

As I looked, later in the day, from the bridge 
of the Camperdo\\-ii across the water to this 
scene of submarine industry, the thought of the 
scrap of' paper committed to my care by Philip 
Coe, came for the first time to my mind, and I 
remembered that I had placed the envelope in 
the leather bag with the negatives. I would at 
least make an effort to rescue this property of 
141 



The People vs. Danger king 



my friend, and I turned away in search of the 
officer of the deck. I had no money to employ 
a diver for this service, but just here several of 
her Majesty's young officers came to my aid, 
and not caring myself to pay a personal visit to 
the ghastly scenes about the wreck, the very 
obliging officers despatched a messenger, to 
whom I furnished in writing the number of my 
state-room, together with the location and a 
description of the bag containing the negatives, 
which was successfully recovered. 

The action of the salt-water on the envelope 
had been such that directly it was exposed to 
the sun it opened of itself, the triangular lap 
curling up slowly as if it had been some species 
of shell-fish, and to hasten the process of drying 
I took out the inclosure and spread it on the 
deck. It was simply a receipt for a package 
left at the office of the Astor House in New 
York, to be delivered to the bearer whose name 
was written across the sealed opening of the 
package aforesaid. This was the gist of the 
statement contained in a somewhat more elab- 
orate printed form. 

I remained on board the Camperdown just 
long enough to complete the process of drying, 
reseal the envelope, indorsed by Philip Coe, 
pitch my precious negatives into the sea, and 

142 



" The People vs. Danger king" 



all hope of triumph at the club along with 
them, kick the sodden bag under a gun carri- 
age, and confer on my dog the high-sounding 
and warlike name of Camperdown, in return 
for the hospitality of her Majesty's gallant 
officers. The bestowal of the name was a part- 
ing impulse of gratitude which was all the re- 
turn I could make for my generous entertain- 
ment and my ill-fitting clothes, and directly 
thereafter, Camperdown and my more insignifi- 
cant self were piped over the side of her 
Majesty's ironclad and rowed in great state to 
the steamer provided by the Anchor line to 
convey the survivors of the wreck to Liverpool, 
where we should meet the Furnessia bound tor 
New York. 



143 



II 



AT Liverpool I found funds awaiting me in 
response to my telegram from Gibral- 
tar, and as I had four days on my hands before 
the departure of the Furnessia, having secured 
my cabin I concluded to run up to London 
and relit. After purchasing my railway ticket 
I telegraphed Philip Coe of my arrival in Liver- 
pool, and informed him that the paper he had 
committed to my care was still in my custody. 

Every newspaper account of the loss of the 
Utopia had mentioned my name and that of 
the Newfoundland dog as the sole survivors 
among the cabin passengers of that ill-fated 
ship, and Camperdown and I were the ac- 
knowledged heroes of that newspaper week. I 
was satisfied that my friend was aware of my 
existence, and I only wished to apprise him of 
the safety of his bit of property. 

As soon as I had inscribed my name on the 

register of my hotel at London the clerk handed 

me a telegram, and as I smoothed it out on the 

office counter, he remarked, with surprising lo- 

144 



" The People vs. Danger kifig" 

quacity for one of his kind, " That's a rawther 
long wire, Doctor." 

The telegram was rather long, for a man 
without any luggage, and not over-well dressed 
at that, but it was from Coe, who was profuse 
in his congratuladons on my safety and, with 
his characteristic modesty, not a word was said 
about the paper he had committed to my care 
for safe-keeping. 

I have neglected to state that before leaving 
Liverpool I had placed Camperdown in the 
care of the steward on board the Furnessia, 
making every provision for his security and 
comfort. We had become such great friends, 
on short acquaintance, that I am free to con- 
fess that, on my part, the parting was a serious 
one, and as I looked into his great wondering 
eyes as the steward held him back by his chain, 
I felt that I was leaving behind a creature al- 
most human in his affection, for whom I felt 
something nearer to love than I at present at- 
tached to any other man, woman, or dog in the 
world. 

As I seated myself in my compartment of 
the London and Liverpool train, absolutely 
empty-handed, without so much as an umbrella 
or an extra coat, I felt the momentary shock of 
the man who has forgotten something : and 

145 



" The People vs. Danger king" 

then the absurdity of my situation, in its hu- 
morous aspect, forced itself upon me. My 
elaborate photographic outfit, and every change 
of clothing I had possessed were at the bottom 
of the sea, and there I sat (I stood to one side 
for the moment regarding my real self as an 
amusing outside entity of the third person), a 
man who would be known at sight for an 
American going up to London in a first-class 
carriage, as it were, sucking his thumbs. I 
felt an uncomfortable desire to clutch some- 
thing, and so it came about that I wandered 
out to the platform and fastened to a novel to 
bear me company. 

On my return I observed that an elderly 
gentleman and a young girl, evidently his 
daughter, had taken the opposite seat in the 
compartment. My first feeling was vexation at 
my stupidity in not having engaged the whole 
place for myself, as I am rather particular about 
my dress, and to be under the scrutiiiy of a 
handsome young woman, herself faultlessly clad, 
was not a situation to my liking. 

Then, too, the book I had purchased proved 
to be a dull one, and industriously as I per- 
sisted in reading it, I was unable to exclude 
from my eai^s the conversation of my travelling- 
companions. 

146 



" The People vs. Danger king'' 

They were Americans, and it soon became 

evident that we should be fellow-passengers on 
the Furnessia. The girl was really beautiful 
without appearing to be conscious of it, but her 
devotion to her father, who seemed to be ail- 
ing, had about it a charm so far beyond per- 
sonal comeliness that I found myself reading 
page after page of my book on which my com- 
panions figured as characters against a printed 
background of absolute vacuity. There was 
apparently, too, a great deal more about Lon- 
don tailors and bootmakers in that obliging 
book than the author had put there, and I se- 
cretly hoped that I should not be identified 
with the very correctly attired young gentle- 
man, whom I saw in imagination on the deck 
of the Furnessia, and whom I was vaguely 
planning to array in sober, well - fitting gar- 
ments such as would meet the approval of the 
well-bred female person who sat opposite me. 

I was getting on surprisingly fast, and if hon- 
est Camperdown had been aware of the state of 
my mind, he would have been consumed with 
jealousy. I listened to the low, musical voice 
whose caressing tones clung about the girl's 
silent, elderly companion, and filled the car- 
riage with the soothing melody of a song of 
home. As for my book, the tamer it got the 

147 



" The People vs. Danger king " 

harder I read it. The story (between the lines) 
skipped over seas, from continent to continent 
at the will of the musical voice. It treated of 
the city of Charleston and of a school girl's 
remembrances of the great earthquake, and as 
the voice flowed on, the vague figures of the 
friends of the voice glided behind the vaguer 
print of the book in an entertaining panorama. 
I turned the page to plunge into the heart of 
Paris, and then travelled up into Switzerland 
and slid gently down to Rome (where there 
was just a paragraph in parenthesis about Philip 
Coe), and then we drifted out to sea with only 
one woman on the great liner, and then 
dropped down at the old New York Hotel just 
as the train rumbled into the gloom of the 
London station, where the yellow lamps were 
blinking outside in the mist. 

The door of the compartment was thrown 
open and I found myself standing on the flag- 
ging of the station gazing after the forms of my 
two companions, with whom I had not ex- 
changed a word, now rapidly fading into the 
fog. I must have cut a highly eccentric figure, 
in my semi-nautical togs, with the entertaining 
book open in my hand and perfectly oblivious 
to the bustle about me. 

" Any luggage, sir? " cried cabby. 
148 



The People vs. Danger king" 



" Yes, there's a camera and a paper." 

" Whereabouts, sir ? " 

' ' At the bottom of the Mediterranean — state- 
room 59." 

" See here, my man," I interrupted myself, 
" are you talking to me ? There's no baggage 
— luggage. Drive me to a hotel." 

" Which one, your honor ? " 

"Anyone," said I, and carefully putting the 
interesting book into my pocket, I sprang into 
the cab with a new consciousness that there was 
something the matter with me. And then I 
put out my head and designated my hotel, and 
so it came about that I was landed at the 
proper place to meet Philip Coe's telegram. 

Four days, just then, was a weary time in the 
wilderness of London, but I pulled myself to- 
gether and fought a gallant fight against large 
plaids ai:id polka-dot neckerchiefs, and in the 
fulness of time I was trundled on board the 
Furnessia, with just enough boxes to render me 
respectable in the estimation of the steward, and 
into the company of Camperdown, who didn't 
seem to notice that I had changed a hair. 

Early in the morning of this day of depart- 
ure, after making a rather extravagant invest- 
ment in cut roses, I had bought the florist's 
whole stock of potted violets, and ordered the 
149 



" The People vs. Dafigerking" 



entire purchase to be packed in boxes and de- 
livered in my cabin on board. I was in a de- 
lightfully reckless frame of mind ; had totally for- 
gotten the lost negatives, and on the way to the 
docks in a cab, found myself chuckling in such 
an ecstasy of delight, as to put my driver in seri- 
ous jeopardy of arrest for unpardonable careless- 
ness in transporting a dangerous lunatic. 

During all the bustle of departure I peered 
about among the crowds for a sight of my 
companions of the railway compartment. 
Somehow I had an abiding faith that the two 
figures, which I had seen to dissolve into the 
London fog, had materialized again and were 
somewhere stowed away on board the big 
liner. But it was the possibility of being mis- 
taken in this hopeful prognosis that, for the 
first few days at sea, made life a nervous un- 
satisfactory burden, which was never so toler- 
able to bear as during those hours, when 
stretched on my berth in the seclusion of my 
cabin, I lent myself to the luxury of recalling 
the charms of that incomparable young woman 
from Charleston. 

She was tall ; of ample proportions ; the pict- 
ure of health ; just the superb figure to house 
a wholesome mind ; a thought blond, with 
abundant brown hair ; large eyes as synipa- 
150 



" The People vs. Danger king" 



thetic as Camperdown's and strong, regular 
white teeth ; large, well-shapen hands ; a neat- 
ly fitting costume of twilled cloth, which must 
have been gray ; a felt hat surmounted by a 
bird's wing which I remembered was lavender ; 
three long-stemmed English roses in the cor- 
sage, one of which was half concealed by the 
lapel of her jacket ; and the other figure, of 
the old man, was strangely out of focus and 
imperfectly developed. 

Arrived this far, my mind invariably went 
back to the large expressive eyes ; I heard 
again the musical, well-modulated voice and, 
in desperation, watered my flowers and turned 
out to walk the deck and stroll with an air of 
assumed unconcern into every accessible nook 
and cranny of the ship in search of the beauti- 
ful original. 

During the first two days of the voyage the 
sea was choppy with a cold, drizzling rain 
which made the decks slippery and uninviting 
even to the most determined pedestrians. On 
the third the sun came out in all his glory, 
drawing a thin mist of steam from the wet cor- 
dage and the canvas coverings of the boats on 
the davits, and from their cabins such of the 
passengers as had no imperative call to remain 
longer in seclusion. Camperdown and I went 



The People vs. Dangerkmg" 



joyfully forth to greet the sun and take our 
morning exercise with the rest. Our associa- 
tion in public led to occasional remarks along 
the rail, that convinced me that our newspaper 
notoriety of the past week was not yet forgot- 
ten. We affected not to notice this trifling 
distinction from which we had no means of es- 
cape, except by retiring from view altogether, 
and having made our way well aft I took my 
stand in a sheltered niche behind the boats, 
looking out to sea and revolving in my mind 
the advisability of sending Camperdown be- 
low. Without particularly noticing it, I was 
aware that my shaggy companion had made a 
new acquaintance (the ladies were very much 
given to petting him), and then I heard two 
words — only two — " Good Camperdown," in 
the unmistakable accents of the musical voice 
of the compartment of the London and Liver- 
pool train. I turned about so suddenly and so 
awkwardly to confront my former fellow -pas- 
sengers, that a becoming shade of confusion 
flitted across the handsome face which con- 
tained the large eyes and white teeth of my 
dreams, and then passing instantly to a state 
of the most perfect self-possession, she said : 

" I beg your pardon, I was surprised to see 
the gentleman who sat opposite us going up to 
152 



" The People vs. Danger king" 



London on Saturday," and then, as if to ex- 
plain her greeting to Camperdown, "every- 
body on the ship has heard of your late advent- 
ure, and Camperdown is a great hero. ' ' 

The easy frankness of her manner added a 
new charm to her personality, and the length 
of her speech gave me time to recover from 
the tumult of agreeable sensations with which 
her sudden appearance, like a sunburst out of 
that London fog, had fairly dazzled me. " I 
remember you very well," I said, bowing at 
the same time to the old gentleman done up in 
rugs, and feeling an indefinable sense that I 
was a monster of deception in saying so little 
when I felt so much. 

" Won't you join us, Dr. Lattimer," said 
a feeble voice out of the bundle of rugs, add- 
ing something about my interesting experi- 
ence, and something more about the warmth 
of the sun and the shelter from the wind, and 
at the same time introducing himself and his 
daughter, all of which, under the calm gaze of 
the young woman's eyes, was very much mixed 
with the throb of the engines and the beating 
of my heart. I sat down, however, with what 
I believed to be a highly triumphant victory of 
mind over matter, ordered Camperdown to 
compose himself, acknowledged my identity 

153 



" The People vs. Dangerking" 



with the sailor -man in the railway compart- 
ment, and got back into the salt scud and the 
awful uncertainty of Gibraltar harbor, as what 
wouldn't I have done for the entertainment of 
the object of my secret infatuation. 

It turned out to be a red letter morning. I 
succeeded in getting our whole party into the 
highest of spirits, including Mr. Dangerking, 
who laughed quietly in his wraps, and other- 
wise left the field to his lovely daughter. He 
was altogether such a dear old gentleman that 
I counted myself fortunate to be allowed to 
carry down his wraps, and incidentally men- 
tioning that my friends had been unusually 
lavish in their floral contributions, in one burst 
of gratitude I sent him my whole stock of cut 
roses. 

I was in for it ! 1 knew I was in for it. If 
the Utopia had not gone to the bottom, I 
should have returned to a blighted and aimless 
life. I am thirty, and I was perfectly aware 
that I was behaving like a boy of seventeen, 
and the worst of it all was I exulted in my 
folly. 

I rejoined that young woman in the after- 
noon, on deck, a bunch of blush roses — my 
roses — peeping from the breast of her ulster, 
and we struggled against the wind as against a 

154 



" The People vs. Dangerking" 

common enemy ; and I thought of the ann I 
had thrown over Camperdown in a similar ex- 
tremity, and noted the resemblance of Miss 
Dangerking 's eyes to Camperdown 's when I 
first met him in that scudding sea. 

Miss Dangerking was something of a hero 
worshipper, and she usually insisted upon 
Camperdown being one of the party, " for 
chaperon, you know," and I felt that I had 
advanced many degrees in her approval by vir- 
tue of my peculiar experience. She consulted 
me in regard to her father's health with a con- 
fidence which was altogether charming, and at 
the request of that gentleman I was installed at 
his private table, and on the very first occasion 
when we sat down together, a mysterious vase 
of fresh violets ornamented the centre of the 
board. Now violets, being the most perishable 
of flowers, their presence on this occasion in 
dewy freshness, four days out from Liverpool, 
was just a little short of a miracle, and the 
wonderment they excited was the first-fruit of 
my foresight on embarking. I advised Miss 
Dangerking to wear them as freely as if fresh 
violets grew on the cross-trees, trusting me to 
replace these with fresher ones in the morning. 

My patient, if I may call him such, slept 
regularly in the afternoon, and when the 

I5S 



ne People vs. Danger king 



weather was favorable Miss Dangerking and I, 
attended by Camperdown, spent that part of 
the day on deck. I was never so happy 
as when my companion was recounting with 
girlish frankness some event in her life, and I 
was permitted to lie back in my chair and 
gaze, a respectful listener, into those unfathom- 
able eyes and note the changes of expression 
flitting across her mobile face. That there 
was some trouble casting its baleful shadow 
there, other than the trouble caused by her 
father's illness, I felt by instinct, but the only 
acknowledged secret between us was the mys- 
tery of the fresh violets. 

It was the last evening we were to spend on 
board, and something of the balm of the first 
week in April had come out to us on the west 
wind ; and we made our way aft and arranged 
our chairs where we could look back along the 
white track of the steamer as it lay a furrow of 
foam over the gentle swells. 

Our perfectly frank and natural a.s.sociation 
on the voyage now closing had ripened into a 
richer fruit, which I trembled at the thought 
of plucking, lest by some unlucky wind its 
fragrance should be scattered forever. The 
future is always full of doubt. Our mood — 
mine at least — was retrospective, and so it fell 
156 



" The People vs. Danger king" 

out, that we sat for a long time in silence look- 
ing back on the trail of the ship, the spark of 
my cigar just showing in the gloom. Miss 
Dangerking's chair was a trifle in advance so 
that her figure was relieved against that part of 
the sky where the moon was rising. 

A deeper breath, which may or may not have 
been a sigh, a relaxing of lines, and the mass 
of Miss Dangerking's head turned in my direc- 
tion. I knew that the invisible eyes rested full 
on mine. For a moment I was silent under 
the sweet influence of that gaze, only indicated, 
on her part, by the action of her head. 

" Our passage is drawing to an end." (I.) 

" Yes." (She.) 

At the sound of our voices, Camperdown 
made his appearance out of the gloom where he 
had been sleeping, and, but for my restraint, 
would have licked the hand which lay so 
quietly on the arm of Miss Dangerking's 
chair. 

As I have remarked before, I am not given 
to hesitation when the time for action comes. 
I extended my hand and laid it firmly on that 
other hand so white in the moonlight, with 
perfect confidence in my abiHty to speak. For 
the first time in my life the words left me. I 
felt a tremor in the long fingers under mine. 

157 



" The People vs. Dangerking'' 

I choked and stammered, and only managed to 
say, " Miss Dangerking, you know " 

I was not frightened in the sense of being 
terrified, but this time I had essayed a phmge 
without being prepared for it. If that other 
plunge over the side of the Utopia had been 
half as terrible, I should have gone down never 
to rise again. 

" Miss — Miss Dangerking " 

The under hand had ceased to tremble, and 
the tone of my voice was beginning to assert 
itself. 

*' Please don't. Dr. Lattimer, we are so hap- 
py as we are." 

Did ever man obey such an injunction at 
such a time ? A half-hour afterward I was sit- 
ting alone in the same place, as a consequence 
of my reckless disobedience, smoking violently, 
and gazing out to sea in a vain endeavor to de- 
termine whether I was partly happy or utterly 
miserable. Some things had happened which 
put my head in a whirl to remember, but Miss 
Dangerking had insisted that everything was 
impossible, and it was when I begged to speak 
to her father that, with strange agitation, she 
had entreated me to come to her, at their hotel 
on the following evening, for an explanation. 



158 



Ill 



I ARRIVED promptly at the hour appoint- 
ed, and was shown into the presence of 
Miss Dangerking. She gave me her hand un- 
reservedly, motioned me to a seat opposite her, 
and ^vith a perceptibly heightened color mant- 
ling her handsome face, proceeded directly to 
the subject of the interview. 

"You know my feelings toward you. Dr. 
Lattimer," she said, with the most engaging 
candor. For a moment her eyes fell as if in deep 
thought, and then she continued : " The causes 
which have led to my father's broken condition 
you are ignorant of. It is on that subject I feel 
it my duty to enlighten you. 

" My father is resting under grave charges of 
the misappropriation of the funds of an estate 
committed to his care as a banker. He has 
twice stood trial — twice been convicted, and he 
is returning now to surrender himself for trial 
in the court of last resort — with the ablest 
counsel in the State to defend him — but with 
no new evidence, although the attorneys have 

159 



The People vs. Dangerhing" 



sought for it diligently. The trust consisted of 
a very large sum in Government bonds and 
railway shares, and three days before the final 
accounting was called for, the securities were 
safe in my father's private vault. There was 
no trace of a robbery ; no one connected with 
the bank disappeared ; there was no clerk to 
whom the slightest taint of suspicion could at- 
tach. With my father's nice sense of honorable 
dealing he would never consent to the engage- 
ment you have proposed. It is because I 
wished to spare him the pain of such a decision 
that I determined to make this explanation my- 
self." 

The extreme youth of the speaker, the cool 
business statement she had made of the salient 
points in a case at law, with none of the prot- 
estations or bewailings which most girls would 
have bestowed upon such a narrative, invested 
her with a womanly dignity that would have 
won my admiration if I had never seen her be- 
fore. The uncomplaining devotion with which, 
on a long foreign journey, Miss Dangerking had 
reversed the order of nature, becoming the pro- 
tector of her natural protector, had already cap- 
tivated my imagination, and as I have admitted 
before, I was past the stage of reason. 

'' I do not believe a word of those charges 
i6o 



" The People vs. Danger king" 

against your father," I said, springing to my 
feet. 

Miss Dangerking rose and extended her hand, 
her beautiful eyes swimming with gratitude. 

" Come and see us every day if you will, but 
never speak of our relations, and never mention 
in my father's presence the subject of this 
interview. ' ' 

A cold April rain was pelting the windows 
when I took my departure. Countless lances 
of light were stabbing the stones of the street. 
A dreary chorus of fog-horns sounded from the 
rivers. The windows of the carriage streamed 
with the rain, reminding me of the bulls-eyes 
of the Utopia before that vessel grounded on 
the iron ram of the Anson. 

Of the fearful consequences of a final convic- 
tion, Miss Dangerking had said not a word. I 
was enjoined from pressing my suit. I deter- 
mined to devote all my energies to the discovery 
of the missing evidence, which was another in- 
dication that my love had dethroned my reason; 
I knew it and exulted in it. If trained lawyers 
had failed to find the missing link, what would 
a medical expert be likely to accomplish ? I 
did not choose to accept the logical deduction 
of my own hypothesis. I was determined to 
butt my stupid, infatuated head against the 
i6i 



The People vs. Daiigerkiiig" 



stone wall of the law. Accordingly I placed 
myself in communication with the counsel for 
the defence in the case of the People vs. Dan- 
gerking, and in due time was in possession of 
the numbers and issues of the Government bonds 
and a complete d^cription of the railroad secur- 
ities. 

Miss Dangerking accepted my attention to 
her father's health and my devotion to herself 
with a perfect understanding of tlie spirit in 
which they were offered, and, on my part, I was 
entirely loyal to the injunction she had placed 
upon the expression of my wishes in a certain 
direction. She resumed her former frank, 
cheerful manner, as if no gulf of impending dis- 
aster yawned under her feet. It was impossible 
to regard her as a girl. The only girlish trait 
she showed was an extravagant fondness for 
Camperdown, and the two certainly made a 
stately and distinguished appearance together 
on the streets, and would never have been sep- 
arated at all if the railway officials had shared 
my views of the dog's rights in the matter of a 
first-class ticket by the Charleston limited. 

A fortnight later, I had accomplished abso- 
lutely nothing in diagnosing the case of the 
People 7'j-. Dangerking. The missing .securities 
showed no symptoms of responding to my 
162 



" The People vs. Daftgerking" 

method of treatment. I had not even evolved 
a plausible diagnosis to begin on. Offensive as 
the act was to my professional instincts, in 
sheer desperation, I inserted a description of 
the missing property through an advertising 
agency, in an extended list of newspapers, both 
in the United States and Canada, offering a 
liberal reward for information. I craved the 
advice and assistance of a cool head, such as 
reposed on the shoulders of Philip Coe. I had 
an impulse to send for him. Even if I had 
possessed his address I had no right to demand 
such a sacrifice of a casual acquaintance, and no 
reason to believe that such a request would be 
complied with. It was plainly a whim too 
wild for my excited imagination to entertain 
seriously, and I put it out of my thoughts. 

What could I do to ward off the fatal result 
in the approaching trial of my amiable and in- 
nocent patient, and the crushing blow of an 
adverse verdict to the woman I loved ? Besides 
torturing me by day, the subject was robbing 
me of sleep by night. I could go to Charleston 
and consult with the defendant's counsel. It 
would be a relief to know from day to day just 
what was being done in the case. It was June 
no\v, and Miss Dangerking and her father were 
absent from the already hot city. I could de- 

163 



" The People vs. Danger king" 

vote myself all the more assiduously to my in- 
vestigation if only a clue could be found to 
work on. 

On the afternoon of the day before my in- 
tended departure for Charleston I was sitting in 
my office, more cast down than ever, having 
but just returned from a long and fruitless con- 
sultation with the chief of police. In fact I 
was nearer to the point where a man yields to 
cowardly despair than I had ever before had 
occasion to be. Even Camperdown gave over 
his amiable attempts to arouse me and stalked 
away to his private quarters in the back office. 
The windows were open onto the quiet cross 
street. The China silk curtains hung limp and 
motionless in the still hot air, and outside the 
insects droned and buzzed in the muggy heat 
despite the absence of their friend the sun, 
whose rays were quenched in a thin, sticky 
mist of impalpable fog. 

A solitary cab rattled over the pavement, its 
unwelcome clatter magnified fourfold in the 
drowsy stillness. It pulled up Avith a lurch un- 
pleasantly suggestive of a fever patient tossing 
in some gilded apartment, and the arrested 
horse continued to stamp his inconsiderate feet 
on the hot stones. 

The door which stood ajar swung inward. 

164 



" The People vs. Danger king" 



A breezy figure projected itself against the 
light. 

"How's the amateur photographer? Not 
mourning over those water-logged negatives ? 
Hey, Doctor ? ' ' 

" Mourning over nothing, my dear Coe," I 
cried, " except the heat." 

" Heat ! Come now — don't say heat to a 
man fresh from Algeria. Air feels rather frosty 
this morning. Sun just stopped short of melt- 
ing my plates in that African bake-shop. I 
hung around the engine on the steamer and 
suffered with the cold like a February gosling. 
I've found a climate just suited to my blood." 

" You didn't go to Russia? " 

" No. Sudden attack of home-sickness." 

" Glad of it. You're the very man I want- 
ed to see. You've cleared the atmosphere like 
a gust of wind already. Come in this morn- 
ing ? So — I want to consult you in an emer- 
gency. ' ' 

" Well, why not. Doctor, you own me for 
the present. Hello ! Is that the dog from 
Gibraltar ? Devilish fine dog — What's — his — 
name — Camperdown ? Do you know, I've had 
a prejudice against dogs from a child. And 
that splendid brute knows it. How do you 
account for it? " 

165 



" The People vs. Danger king 



Sure enough Camperdown growled and 
showed his teeth, a thing that I had never seen 
him do before, and for which I promptly or- 
dered him out of our presence. 

Philip Coe sat down and insisted on having 
the particulars of my shipwreck, only interrupt- 
ing me with an occasional question or an ejacu- 
lation of satisfaction over my perseverance and 
final rescue. " And your last will and testa- 
ment, by the way," I said, going over to the 
safe and extracting the envelope la padrona had 
given us in the Trattorea Fiorelli, " here you 
are." 

"Oh! I'm glad you mentioned it," said 
Philip Coe, placing it in his breast pocket. 
" It's enough for the present that you got your 
own precious skin out of the brine." 

" You must dine with me to-night," I said, 
" and we will talk over the matter to which I 
referred — something that is disturbing me very 
much at present, sorry to say — (I saw that he 
was moving to go) — meet me here at seve-n. 
then." 

The horse that had never ceased to stam]) at 
the flies, now rattled away over the pavement. 

The color of the world had changed since 
the advent of my resourceful friend, and I con- 
gratulated myself on his timely arrival. I was 

1 66 



The People vs. Dangerking 



not content to enjoy the fact alone, and, seizing 
a pen, lover-like, I wrote a brief note to Miss 
Dangerking, predicting hopeful results from the 
opportune arrival of Philip Coe. I took Cam- 
perdown out for a walk, revolving in my mind 
how I should present the all-absorbing case to 
my shrewd friend, remembering that his judg- 
ment was not influenced by any sympathy for 
my patient, and having a fear that he would 
pronounce a sharp and incisive opinion that 
the defendant was guilty as charged. 

It was half-past five when Philip Coe left my 
office. It still wanted a half-hour of the time 
set for dinner when he returned. He tossed a 
package onto the table, wrapped in a strong, 
gray paper, showing two red seals. He was evi- 
dently in some new hurry. The instant he laid 
his package down I noticed that his name was 
written diagonally across the wrapper between 
the seals. I recognized it as the package from 
the Astor House. 

" Business is business, my dear Doctor," he 
explained, as soon as he had recovered his 
breath, and wiping his wrists with his hand- 
kerchief as he spoke, — " awfully sorry, but I 
have to leave for St. Louis by an early train. 
Haven't time to cut off my coupons. I was 
getting short of money, and that is the real 
167 



" The People vs. Dangerking" 



reason of my return. Expected to have plenty 
of time to shear my flock and realize on the 
wool to-morrow." 

" But, my dear fellow, you forget that I pos- 
itively can't spare you — I want to use you — I 
need your advice." 

" Give it to you at dinner, but go I must — 
telegram imperative." 

" When can you come back ? " 

" I will be in New York again in a week at 
the farthest," said Philip Coe, " and then we'll 
develop my negatives together," laying his hand 
on my shoulder and brightening at the joyful 
prospect. 

" If you need any money, say so," said I. 

" Money," cried he, tapping the package 
which lay on the table. " I'm loaded v.'ith 
money. You shall turn in and help me cut 
coupons after dinner. It's because I shall want 
a considerable sum on Saturday that I propose 
to pick these birds to-night and ask you to de- 
posit the proceeds to your own account and 
mail me a check. That's not much to ask of a 
friend," he rattled on, severing the cord and 
breaking the seals of the package. 

I naturally felt an extraordinary interest in 
the contents of a parcel the receipt for which 
had accompanied me through so many advent- 
i68 



" The People vs. Danger king" 

ures, but I only looked on in respectful si- 
lence. 

Philip Coe was bent over at his work under the 
glare of the drop-light. I stood above and behind 
him, a little withdrawn from the heat of the gas. 

"There," said he, laying out a thousand 
dollar Government 4 of 1907, " it will be short 
work and merry. I haven't seen the smiling 
faces of these fellows in over a year." 

It was a mercy that my face was removed 
from the scrutiny of Philip Coe. It must have 
blanched with a tell-tale pallor for an instant, 
for my blood seemed to stand still and the room 
swam before my astonished eyes as I noted the 
issue and number of the bond. 

He continued to look through the package 
hurriedly, turning out paper after paper as if to 
satisfy himself that the contents had not been 
disturbed in his absence, and in the brilliant 
light I too read the name of the very railway 
securities which were missing in the case of the 
People vs. Dangerking, and began to realize the 
cool villany of the man, who had so skilfully 
played with my confidence. 

My maid servant appeared at the door. 

" Dinner is served, my dear boy," I cried. 
" Put that lumber in the safe until we have 
eaten something." 

169 



*' The People vs. Danger king" 

With the most perfect confidence in his vic- 
tim he replaced the papers, closed the wrapper 
loosely over the package and laid his booty 
carefully on the steel shelf I designated (the 
door of the safe had stood open since I had 
taken out the envelope containing his receipt), 
and I closed the combination. 

At the soft click of that oily lock as the 
massive bolts slid smoothly into place over the 
missing evidence in the case of the People vs. 
Dangerking, my spirits rose and my brain was 
as clear and cool as a chess-player's who sees 
mate in the next move. 

"I don't know how you feel, old fellow," 
said I, clapping Philip Coe heartily on the 
shoulder, "but lam as hungry as a hound," 
and I led the way briskly to the dining-room. 

" I'm still in possession of my sea appetite," 
said he, as he seated himself op])osite to me and 
shook out his napkin. 

The table was a round one reduced to its 
smallest dimensions, so that we could easily 
have shaken hands across it if we had been so 
disposed. 

Although my mind was acting in a twofold 

capacity it in nowise interfered with the relish 

and vivacity with which we addressed ourselves 

to the dinner. Hospitality under the circum- 

170 



" The People vs. Danger king" 



stances rose to the dignity of a fine art — as fine 
as the edge of a lancet. 

" Do you remember the last time we drank 
Asti Spumanti together?" I cried, as I 
loosened the napkin-muffled cork. 

"Well, rather," said Philip Coe, settling 
back in his chair with a comfortable reminiscent 
laugh. " I can see the green light between 
those vine-frescoed walls and smell the fruity 
casks piled upon the earthen floor." 

"And I," said I, "inhale the atmosphere 
of la padrona at this moment, as she brought 
us the envelope for your document," and I 
smiled meaningly over at the man who had so 
cunningly made use of me to transport and 
protect a compromising paper which he feared 
to carry on his own person. 

" By the way," said I, " — a — Mary " (she 
was removing the remains of the fish) "is 
William in the house?" and then to Coe, 
" We shall want some cigars presently, and I 
am going to send my boy out for something 
that will give you a genuine surprise, old 
smoker that you are. ' ' 

As I said this I produced a blank prescrip- 
tion pad and wrote as follows : 

"/ am dining at this moment with a man 
171 



" The People vs. Dangerking" 



whom you want. Post two officers opposite viy 
door at once. ' ' 

"J. Q. Lattimer, M.D. 

" Gramercy Park." 

" Do you like them strong ? " I asked, look- 
ing up at my guest. 

"Not too strong," he replied, "anything 
that suits you will suit me." 

I wondered if it would. I felt a wave of 
shame at having indulged in such cruel badi- 
nage. I tore off the paper from the pad, 
doubled it carefully, wrote on the outside : 

" Inspector 



Mulberry Street,'' 

took a banknote from my pocket, laid it over 
the address, and handed it to Mary with in- 
structions to give it to William. 

" That potted pigeon isn't half bad, is it ? " 
said I ; "let me fill your glass. Take your 
time, enjoy yourself to the utmost. After we 
get on to the dessert I want to consult you 
about my affair. You haven't told me any- 
thing yet about your luck in Algeria." 

Philip Coe was in such a charming humor 
that he launched directly into his African ex- 

172 



" The People vs. Dangerking" 

periences, which were sufficiently entertaining 
and so dehghtfully told that I felt a conviction 
that he might have been equally successful as 
an author, without being a plagiarist either. 

I had abundant time to consider what I 
should say when my turn came, for we were 
still on the subject of Algeria when the coffee 
was served. 

Fortunately I had an unopened box of cigars 
in the butler's pantry, and as we were now left 
alone I fetched the box myself and opened it 
on the table. 

Since I had proposed to take counsel of 
Philip Coe, such a revolution had taken place 
in my feelings toward the man who sat opposite 
to me, that I had no longer the faintest need 
of his advice. I had offered my hospitality to 
a personal friend in whom I had the utmost 
confidence ; in a moment he had been trans- 
formed into a cunning, designing, treacherous 
enemy. Whether he was principal or con- 
federate in the robbery, the evidence of which 
he had so strangely laid before me, I had no 
means of knowing. I was not yet ready to 
accuse him of a crime. It was not a pleasant 
or a courteous proceeding when the culprit was 
at the same time the honored guest at my table. 
I shrank from seeming to be rude. If I opened 

173 



" The People t's. Dangerliing" 



my heart to him frankly, as I had at first in- 
tended to do, relating the story of my love and 
then reciting in order the difficulties which pre- 
vented my engagement to Miss Dangerking, 
the innocent story, itself, would be the accuser. 
I therefore decided to place myself behind the 
story and watch its effects on Philip Coe, who 
at the moment was complacently inhaling the 
fragrance of his cigar as innocent of what was 
passing in my mind as the roses which exhaled 
their delicate perfume over the space that lay 
between us. 

I confessed that the story I Avas about to re- 
late was a story of love, and then I entered into 
the minutest details of that journey up to 
London, expatiating on the beauty of the fair 
unknown, and not forgetting to describe my 
grotesque dress and my bewildered condition 
in the foggy station. 

I could see that my guest was deeply in- 
terested. He rallied me on my infatuation. 
He laughed at my humorous points with that 
joyous abandon with which a man laughs after 
dinner. As I told him of my love for this 
girl, taking liim into my confidence to a greater 
degree than I have taken the reader, he grew 
quite sympathetic. 

"Devilish fine girl," he cried, "and she's 

174 



The People vs. Danger king" 



fond of you too, Doctor. Don't you give her 

up " 

" I never give up anything I get my hands 
on," said I. " Coe, that's a pecuHarity of 
mine. ' ' 

" Fine scene that in the moonhght," said he, 
fining his glass. ' ' And she gave you no reason 
for her refusal ? ' ' 

"Oh, yes, she did," said I. "Her father 
was charged with a crime — embezzhng the 
funds of a trust or something of that sort. She 
told me herself like a martyr, rather than sub- 
ject him to pain. 

" Did she, though ? " said Philip Coe, start- 
ing forward into an attitude of enthusiastic ad- 
miration. " Lattimer, that girl is a thorough- 
bred. I'm half in love with her myself. She 
is an American through and through. And 
then raising his tiny glass in his fingers, "Let 
us drink the health of Miss " 

" Dangerking," I suggested, " from Charles- 
ton." 

His eyes flashed on mine. His cold face 
changed color for an instant, but his hand hold- 
ing the brimming glass was without a sign of 
tremor. "Marry her, my dear fellow," he 
said. ' ' She is worthy of you. Her health ' ' 

" Wait a moment," I said ; " the suspicion 

175 



" The People vs. Danger king" 

that attaches to her father can only be removed 
by the discovery of the securities he is charged 
with having taken. Those securities, Philip 
Coe," I said, rising and pointing my finger at 
my guest. " Those securities " 

"Are locked in your strong box. Pray be 
seated, Dr. Lattimer. Any heat on your part 
is most unbecoming at this time. As your 
guest, I would save you from marring your 
hospitality with the slightest rudeness. We 
evidently understand each other. Let us ad- 
journ to your office and talk this matter over 
calmly. ' ' 

Philip Coe led the way and I followed in 
silence, thankful that he had saved me from any 
further elaboration of my charges. Arrived in 
my office, he faced about and addressed me as 
follows : 

" You have won some distinction, Dr. Lat- 
timer, in the practice of your profession ; a 
condition I carefully avoid in the practice of 
mine. We both regard advertising as highly 
unprofessional. We will waive the fact that I 
have been dining at your table. Without 
further waste of words, Dr. Lattimer, I shall 
trouble you to return me the package I handed 
you before dinner. I am prepared to enforce 
my demand. ' ' 

176 



" Tlje People vs. Dangerking" 

We were both standing ; the table with its 
shaded lamp between us, and as Philip Coe 
made his demand he thrust his hand behind him 
with a motion which I perfectly understood. 

The next instant a gleaming revolver was 
pointed at my head. I mildly suggested that 
the secret of the combination which held the 
package he wanted was known to me alone. 
" What would be the advantage to you of add- 
ing murder," I said, "to the already long 
list of your crimes ? ' ' 

A malignant gleam of hatred shot from his 
evil eyes. I remembered the cool precision 
with which he levelled his camera and the ad- 
mirable prudence that governed the drop of his 
shutter. He was not the man to waste a plate 
or a bullet. 

The curtain rustled in the faint evening 
breeze, making the only sound in the lighted 
room since I had ceased to speak. 

" Close that window. Dr. Lattimer," was 
the only reply he made to my remonstrance. I 
turned to the wndow. The two officers I had 
summoned were leaning against a lamp-post on 
the opposite side of the street. The hght fell 
full on them. They were looking directly 
across. No unusual sound or movement could 
escape their observation. 

177 



" The People vs. Danger king" 

" Before I close this window," said I, " let 
me call your attention to those two figures over 
the way," and I drew the curtains aside suf- 
ficiently to give him an uninterrupted view. 
" They are awaiting a sign or a motion from 
me." 

He made no reply, but the hand holding the 
weapon was lowered. I no longer feared him. 

'•'Sit down, Philip Coe," said I. "In- 
stead of sending for cigars an hour ago, I sent 
for those gentlemen. It is not necessary for 
them to observe us further at present." 

I drew the curtains together. 

" You are a remarkable man, Dr. Lattimer. 
You buy out florists, and summon police offi- 
cers with equal foresight. Would you mind 
throwing this dangerous weapon in your waste- 
paper basket ? ' ' 

I did precisely as he requested me. 

" I know when I am beaten," he said, seat- 
ing himself at the table. He bit off the end of 
a cigar, lighted it, and passed it under his 
nose as if to assure himself of its quality. I 
couldn't help admiring his cool self-possession. 
Critical as the situation was, my remarkable 
guest showed no signs of fear, no agitation, no 
excitement. He was perfectly calm and col- 
lected. With his faculty for quick mental 

178 



" The People vs. Danger king" 

combinations, he recognized the jaws of the 
trap Avhich held him. He was evidently a 
philosopher of the school of fatalists. 

"I am rather fond of my liberty," said 
Philip Coe, pushing about some bits of paper 
on the table with his long flexible fingers. 
" You have taken possession of the fruits of my 
last speculation ! My arrival, unfortunate as 
it has been to myself, clears your friends, and 
opens the way to your uttermost happiness. 
What do you propose to offer me in return for 
this ? ' ' 

The hint at my happiness was an over- 
whelming appeal. On the threshold of the 
joyful future made possible by the happenings 
of this eventful night I shrank from being the 
cause of further sufferings to the principal agent 
in the new turn of affairs. 

" Clear up the mystery connected with this 
robbery," I said, perfectly aware that I was 
compounding a felony, " and you shall depart 
as freely as you came. As to your friends over 
the way, I will tell them it was all a mistake." 

His explanation covered everything, even 
to the odd circumstance of leaving the valuable 
package for so long a time in the keeping of 
the authorities of the hotel. An officer of the 
law had been hot on his trail for another of- 

179 



" The People vs. Dangerking" 

fence, and to elude pursuit he had dodged on 
board an outgoing steamer, carrying with him 
the receipt which I had been at so much pains 
to bring back for him. 

After this statement had been written out 
by his own hand, I called in the waitress who 
had served us at dinner to witness the signa- 
ture. The name attached to the document 
was Philip Coe, the same which had appeared 
in the paper I had dried out on the deck of the 
Camperdown, and which was written across 
the opening of the broken package in my safe. 



One afternoon in the autumn, Miss Danger- 
king and I, with Camperdown in close attend- 
ance, were pacing slowly to and fro on the 
shady side of Lafayette Place over against the 
sombre front of the Astor Library, and along 
that colonnade of Corinthian columns of a de- 
parted glory, which she called a gallery, get- 
ting inexpressible comfort out of the fusted 
old street, and our undisturbed possession of 
it, and daring at last to look frankly into the 
clarified future. Our marriage was set for that 
day week. 

"You have never cleared up the mystery 
of those wonderfully fresh violets," said Miss 
I So 



" The People vs. Daiigerking" 



Dangerking, with an earnestness I was no 
longer capable of trifling with. 

" I sent a conservatory on board in pots at 
Liverpool. I thought you might like them." 

"I did like them," she said, after we had 
walked on to a little distance, raising her 
sympathetic eyes from the broken flagging 
through which a distorted root was struggling 
to force its way into the light. " I was think- 
ing of a later evidence of your thoughtfulness. 
I am glad that our perfect happiness is not 
clouded by the sense of having consigned to 
prison the burglar who was instrumental in 
bringing it about." 



" The Demented Ones " 



"THE DEMENTED ONES" 

BEYOND the near hills, and veiled by the 
smoking woods, the battle is joined. 
It is hard to say whether the roar of the ar- 
tillery is heavier than the ceaseless tear and 
grind, grind, grind of the multitudinous rifles. 
High up in the murky sky the on-lookers at the 
rear see soft flashes of light burst into puffs of 
white-gray smoke. The white-curtained am- 
bulances wax thicker and thicker on the dusty 
road. Wounded men, supported by one and 
sometimes by three comrades who have thrown 
away their guas, are streaming back through 
the woods. Here and there a riderless horse is 
plunging madly across the withered and stony 
pastures, or cropping a mouthful of grass, and 
then turning a startled look in the direction 
whence he came. Down the 'pike thunders an 
aid in search of re-enforcements, his smoking 
mount gray with dust and flecked with foam. 
Past him gallops a yellow-striped orderly on his 
way to the front, with buff envelopes drawn 
through his belt. A disabled gun has been 
185 



" The Demented Ones " 



hauled back on to the road -side, and the ex- 
cited drivers are riding the smoking teams to 
the rear. Covered wagons are paying out 
telegraph wire over short poles driven into the 
earth, as they come trending in the direction of 
army headquarters. 

There is grim order, however, in the seem- 
ing confusion. The forge is ablaze in the 
shabby bivouac of Battery Q's impedimenta, 
and the leather-aproned smith is shaping a shoe 
for one of the extra horses. There is the round- 
topped battery wagon, the little mess wagon 
loaded with tents and camp chairs, and the big 
covered van, with six kicking mules fighting 
over the trough fixed on the pole. And there 
is Uncle Moses, now lamming and cursing his 
charges, and now talking to them as if they 
were intelligent members of his family. 

" Yo' low-down white Lize, lemme see yo' 
kick dat line mule one time moah, an' yo' Unc' 
Mose ull curry yo' down wid dis yer black- 
snake. Does yo' year me? Whoa! 'Bang! 
Swish ! ' 1 mek yo' squat down an' t'ank de 
Lor' I di'n't cut yo' heart out dat time. 
Whoa! " 

The burly quartermaster is strutting up and 
down, big with the importance of his independ- 
ent command, and proud of his indifference to 
1 86 



" The Demented Ones" 



the roar of the battle. He is swearing more 
than the occasion calls for — this quartermaster 
who said his prayers and read his Bible night 
and morning in a top bunk of the Albany bar- 
racks when he thought he was going to certain 
death, he and his devout bedfellow, who has long 
since deserted. 

Certainly the quartermaster is sore tried on 
these peculiar occasions, when, excepting the 
smith and the farrier and Uncle Moses and the 
colored servants and a disabled recruit more or 
less, his command is made up of idiots and 
mild lunatics, thrust into the army as costly 
substitutes, and unloaded on Battery Q, 
along with better men, with the occasional 
forced details from the infantry. 

These merry freaks, first or last, found their 
righteous water-level in the spavined train of the 
extra horses. 

Charley Fitch, with his forage - cap pulled 
down until his ears lop under the rim, is seated 
under the battery wagon to shelter his bare 
back from the sun. Fitch stammered so badly 
when he spoke that his mouth drew around 
toward his left ear and his right shoulder 
twitched. 

Spence lAisk. his comrade in adversity, who 
was sitting near him, looked on at the rising 

187 



The Demented Ones" 



smoke calmly, for he was deaf. He only heard 
when the horse-doctor punched him in the ribs, 
and then, knowing that something was being said 
to him, he said, ' ' Yes. ' ' If the doctor shook his 
head, Spence hastened to say, " No, marm." 
If that did not appear to satisfy the doctor, 
Spence swore mildly and said, " I diin'no'." 
And he was otherwise so slow in his move- 
ments that he was known throughout the bat- 
tery as " Old By-and-by. " 

These two were drawn to each other by the 
common heritage of infirmities, and Charley 
took Spence imder his protection with a great 
show of patronage and a comfortable assumption 
of superiority. Fifty times a day Charley for- 
got that Spence was deaf, and after .saying some- 
thing that twisted his whole body in the effort, 
he would look at Spence despairingly, and add, 
with another contortion, " Well, you no good 
anyway, 'Pence Lul-lul-lusk. " 

It was pathetic to see these two friends with- 
out any friends, each mounted on a galled 
horse of many sores, hung with festoons of 
camp kettles and nose-bags, each leading two 
other lame or otherwise disabled animals, deco- 
rated with rolls of blankets and strings of pots 
and pans. The two wore their overcoats in 
August, and patiently carried every bag and 
1 88 



" The Demented Ones " 



burden the men chose to strap on their horses. 
In camp they cleaned and fed each his three 
charges, and for the rest of the day they ate and 
slept, and at night they crept under the same 
dog-tent. 

After feed - time Charley sidled over to 
Spence, and pulling him by the shoulder, 
shouted in his ear : 

" There's a big hors-pi-pi-pitile down by the 
sta-sta-straw -stacks. Common ! " 

"Hain't got any," said Spence, who 
thought Charley was asking for tobacco. 

" You ain't no good," said Charley, plucking 
him by the arm, and away the two friends went 
together. 

The -writhing of Charley's body showed that 
he was making another fruitless effort to com- 
municate some sort of good news to his com- 
panion, and then he caught him by the arm, 
and after pulling him to a halt, made a saw of 
his right hand, and worked it across Spence's 
leg. After that effort at pantomime both men 
galloped off in great glee. 

The straw -stacks were in a rude stable-yard 
enclosed by a high wall, and on the peak of the 
great red barn floated a square of yellow bunt- 
ing. Clean yellow straw lay thick on the wide 
floors, and in the stables, and over the bottom 



The Demented Ones " 



of the empty bays. The whole barn-yard was 
strewn with it. 

When the two demented ones dodged under 
the wheels of the ambulances unloading at the 
double gates, the space in the barn was already 
tenanted by a ghastly company, and the busy 
bearers were laying the wounded and the dying 
in long straight rows across the yard. They 
looked in on the great barn floor. A tent fly 
had been staked out over the south doors to 
ward off the sun. The two demented ones 
were bewildered and speechless in the presence 
of the gory spectacle their eyes rested on. The 
frightened swallows were flying about under the 
great roof, and shining particles of dust were 
floating in the lances of light streaming through 
the cracks in the dark siding, and lying tender- 
ly across the forms of the dead and the grimy 
and blood - stained faces of the living. Some 
sat up with crimson and white handkerchiefs 
about their heads, and others bent over their 
wounded limbs. The doctors were roughly 
probing for bullets, and there were wailings and 
cursing and laughter ringing up to the rafters. 
A peculiar rattling sound reached the ears of 
Charley. Here at his feet lay a sight that held 
him with a horrible fascination. It was the 
wounded form of a l:)oy who would ne\er see 
190 



" The Demented Ones " 



again, his face shattered beyond recognition, 
and in his dehrium his restless hands were twist- 
ing and twisting and twisting a thin wisp of 
broken straws. 

" Common, Spence," said Charley, plucking 
the other by the arm ; and they picked their 
way out among the rows of the wounded, the 
two demented ones vaguely conscious that by 
some mysterious transformation they were rich 
and prosperous where all their fellows were poor 
and needy. 

Some occult influence seemed to hold the two 
in the radius of the horrors they would fain flee 
from, and once out of the yard, their feet turned 
around the barn to the shade of the butternut- 
trees, where the surgeons in threes were plying 
their horrible trade. They stood at a distance 
outside the barricade of fanning - mills and 
sheep-racks blinking in the hot sun. 

"Them fellers don't feel nothin'," said 
Spence, meaning the anaesthetized subjects on 
the tables. 

"Guess I know th-a-a-at," said Charley, 
writhing and twisting. " Common ; " and he 
led the willing Spence across the field to an- 
other hospital, straw-strewn, under the shade of 
a great oak in the quiet pasture. 

On the eastern border of this circle of the 
191 



" The Demented Ones " 



unfortunate, where the shadow of the tree was 
creeping out over them on to the field beyond, 
was a httle patch of Confederates, lying by 
themselves, and in front of these the two wan- 
derers stopped to contemplate the greatest 
curiosity they had yet seen. There was one, a 
handsome Virginia boy, his tooth-brush woven 
through the button-holes of his gray jacket, who 
held his canteen out to Charley, and begged 
him, " for Christ's sake," to fill it with water. 

Charley took the curious thick canteen of un- 
covered tin from the soldier's hand, and pass- 
ing it to Spence, pointed in the direction of the 
spring. Then he kneeled down beside the suf- 
ferer and undid his roll of blankets, adjusting 
them under his head and about his wounded 
arm. Charley kept Spence going to and from 
the spring until every man Jack of the enemy 
was supplied with water. 

" You are very kind," said the Virginian. 

" That ain't no-n-nothin'," twisted Charley. 

" What is your regiment ? " 

" 'Tain't no r-r-regiment ; it's jis Battery Q." 

" Battery Q ? " said the Southron. " Why, 
I was wounded in front of Battery Q, and borne 
through its guns to the ambulance. A tall 
captain, black beard, Russian shoulder - knots 
on his riding -jacket " 



19: 



" The Demented Ones" 



" Yas," said Charley ; "that's Captain Ne- 
Neal." 

"Captain Neal," said the other. "Yes; 
he gave me a drink from his flask. The bat- 
teries were not engaged ; it was the infantry ; 
the trees were too thick. Great God ! " said 
he, thoughtfully; "if those two batteries 
should open on each other at a hundred yards ! ' ' 

Then, addressing himself to Charley and 
Spence, in view of their patent infirmities, he 
asked if they were soldiers. 

" No ; not ezactly," said Charley. "I'm a 
sub-sta-ta-ta-tute, an' he ain't no good ; he's 
deef. We take care o' extra horses." 

The wounded Virginian was more uneasy in 
mind than in body ; for, as it transpired from 
his conversation with the friend who lay beside 
him, he was to have been married within the 
month. He could wait, if only she knew that 
he was alive and well, with only an arm to 
lose. " If I could only get word to Bob " — 
that was his brother. Many other things trans- 
pired, for the prisoners talked unreservedly in 
the presence of the demented ones, who sat on 
the ground beside them. 

" Yes, I was to have been married next Sun- 
day a week, to the sweetest girl in Falmouth 
County. It will break her heart if she hears I 

193 



" The Demented Ones " 



am dead. If I could step across and tell Bob 
how the land lies, all would be right. I would 
be willing to come back. But for the awful 
uncertainty about my life or death, 1 could roll 
over and go to sleep." 

" Poor boy and poor girl ! " thought Char- 
ley. 

Then the two prisonei-s fell to comparing the 
incidents of their capture. 

" Mine," said the Virginian, " was about 
the most curious thing that ever happened, and 
quite the most unexpected. My brother, Bob 
Chew, commands our battery, tangled up in 
this infernal wilderness, and just in the front of 
this Battery Q. You could .sling a cat across 
but for the jungle of trees. I walked out into 
a cart track just south of the right gun, not a 
team's length away, and was pulling dewberries 
out of the grass, when I got a volley out of a 
clear sky, and two infantry men ran me down that 
grassy road beside the stone wall ; and before I 
realized where I was, I was rushed through the 
guns of this same Battery Q. And here I am, 
and here I must stay — Lew Chew, a prisoner." 

Charley blinked and writhed his shoulders, 
and made an involuntary tace at Spence ; but 
with all his outward infirmity he possessed a 
singularly retentive memory. He made no 

194 



" The Demented Ones " 



combinations, formulated no plans, but the 
picture of the brother in command of his bat- 
tery in front of Battery Q was fixed in his 
clouded mind, and the name of Captain Chew 
rang in his ears — Bo^ CJiew ! Sympathy for 
the wounded brother Lew had also taken hold 
of Charley. He only knew that he felt sorry 
and queer, and the writhing of his body and 
the twitching of his face were the unconscior.s 
outward evidence of a half- conscious inward 
state. Spence heard nothing-, saw little, com- 
prehended less. 

When the two returned to the camp of the 
impedimenta, it was to find their great com- 
mander, the Napoleon of quartermaster - ser- 
geants, vaporing and swearing. He too had 
just retiu-ned, not from the rear, but from the 

front, " by , sir ! " From the front, where 

Battery Q had covered itself with glory, and 
the officers (what remained of them) had sent 
back for hot coffee. 

" And where is the cook to make it, and 

who is to carry it up ? Where are the d 

officers' slaves? A smotherin' th'ir woolly 
heads under some hay-stack ; or, more like, 
buried in swamp mud, drawin' th'ir breath 
through a section of stove-pipe." He declared 
he would shoot them on the edge of their re- 

195 



" 11)6 Demented Ones" 



turn. " Charley, come here. What do you 
know? Hold your tongue ! Saddle your horse. 
Silence, and do as I tell you." 

Exeunt Charley and his patron saint. Enter 
the quartermaster and horse-doctor with a kettle 
of coffee. 

In the middle distance is Charley seated on 
a bony gray horse ; Charley's shoulders and the 
gray's rump plentifully sprinkled with chopped 
hay and chaff. The two straps of his overcoat 
hang loose from the small of his back, and his 
elongated forage-cap is crushed down, like a 
drunken extinguisher, far below his turned-up 
coat collar. A nose-bag full of curry-combs is 
buckled around the neck of the patient horse, 
and a festoon of canteens and frying-pans deco- 
rates the cantle of the saddle. 

The road is filled with batteries and ammu- 
nition wagons going and coming, so that our 
humble purveyors of coffee take to the fields, 
riding Indian file and in Indian silence, the 
sergeant, scowling, in advance, and Charley 
turning his head from side to side. In one di- 
rection he seeks a park of pontoon boats ad- 
vanced into the shelter of the woods ; and in 
the other the commanding general, at the head 
of a bedraggled staff, returning from a personal 
inspection of the lines. 

196 



" The Demented Ones" 



All is still at the front, and seemingly motion- 
less, until they pass the first curtain of woods, 
and come suddenly upon countless masses of 
infantry marching with an easy swing to the 
left. The batteries are choking the sandy 
cross - roads. No drums, no bugles, only the 
jangle of equipments, the shucking of wheels, 
and the rattle of harness ; a quiet command, 
a ribald joke, a ringing oath. Two corps are 
swinging from right to left in preparation for a 
new attack at daylight. 

"Are we going to the f-f-front ? " Charley 
ventured to ask. 

" Yes ; to be shot," was the sergeant's surly 
rejoinder. 

And on they push as before, through and be- 
yond the moving columns. And here is the 
position of Battery Q, facing the green wall of 
a tangled wood at a hundred feet interval, with 
guns double-shotted with canister ; a battalion 
of infantry, lounging in two detachments about 
stacked arms behind either flank, kindling fires 
oftwigs and stubble to boil the everlasting quart - 
cup. The numbers about the guns are loung- 
ing and even sleeping near their places. The 
lids of the green limbers are clo.sed, and the 
thirsty horses are going back in teams of sixes 
for water. It is an anomalous situation for a 

197 



•' The Demented Ones" 



long-range battery. A few men and horses 
have gone down during the long day before the 
hissing bullets now and then singing over the 
field from distant sharp - shooters, or spitting 
through the trees from the positions of the 
skirmishers. Not a shot has been fired by the 
black guns, and the duty of the support has 
been a sinecure of idleness, a tedious and trying 
service of nervous inactivity, listening by the 
hour to the ripping of musketry up and down 
the line, where whole corps are storming the 
burning woods, breathing the drifting sulphur- 
ous smoke, and waiting, waiting. 

No wonder the captain is nervous and irri- 
table, and thankful for the setting sun and the 
jaded orderly who brings him orders to be ready 
to move at two o'clock in the morning. To the 
left, always to the left. A vision of the imper- 
turbable commander-in-chief rises from the 
cramped lines within that yellow envelope. To 
wait is patience ; to move is destiny. 

The quartermaster, followed by his queer at- 
tendant grinning from ear to ear, or rather up 
toward one ear in particular, to see the boys at 
the front, comes charging at a walk on the 
ledge of rocks where the hungry officers are 
seated. 

*'Just the man we want, Charley," cries 



" The Demented Ones" 



Lieutenant Sanderson, coming over to take the 
welcome coffee-pot. '■ Major Black has lost a 
collar-bone, and the doctor is looking for a sub- 
stitute. ' ' 

"Don't let him guy you, Charley," said 
Mink. " You've got the Iresh bloom of the 
wagons on you. It does one good to see you 
rise out of these d hot weeds." 

Charley is a privileged character at the front, 
and as he dismounts and leads his stumbling 
gray among the guns, the merriment goes with 
him, as the laughing wavelets follow the glid- 
ing boat. 

" Dry up I " " Come off ! " " Yous no 
good ! " are the burden of Charley's rejoinder. 
In an absent-minded way he is thinking of the 
Confederate prisoner hustled through these same 
guns, and of the other battery masked not so very 
far away. Kicking the stones and weeds, he wan- 
ders over to the thicket for a whip. He twists 
off a chestnut sprout, and tucks a spray of wild 
roses in old gray's headstall. At his feet is a 
cart rut leading into a tunnel of green. Char- 
ley wanders on into the cool retreat. There is 
the wall of stones beside the path. He sees be- 
fore him the real counterpart of the picture the 
wounded Virginian painted on his brain in the 
shade of the hospital tree. Why not ride over 

199 



The Demented Ones " 



and send a message to that " pooty " Falmouth 
girl ? The boys think he is a fool. ?Ie has a 
vague idea of distinguishing himself. He clam- 
bers into the saddle, and rides down the path, 
wagging his head and working his shoulders, 
and doubtless thinking queer thoughts as his 
horse picks his way among the outcropping 
rocks. 

" Halt ! " cried a blue picket, rising out of 
the bushes. '' Where do you think you are 
going, you blooming idiot? " 

"I dun'no'," said Charley. "Do y-y- 
you?" 

"Yes; you're going straight to the devil," 
said the man, laughing. " I fired my gun at 
a sneaking rebel just now. Are you deaf? 
Turn back, you fool; " and the man lazily 
drew his ramrod to reload. 

" Good-by," said Charley, making a hideous 
face at the picket as he plied whip and heels to 
his horse, and shot around a bend in the tun- 
nel of green, chuckling and bumping like an 
ape on horseback. 

A quarter of a mile further on he is halted 
again with a round oath, and a black rifle-bar- 
rel levelled at his breast. 

"You're my prisoner; 'light off that 
horse. ' ' 



" The Demented Ones " 



" Tha-tha-t's all right," said Charley, slid- 
ing down to the ground as he was ordered. 
" That's w'at I corned fur." 

"You want to desert, do you, you lousy 
Yankee? You don't look like we-uns wanted 
you." 

" You're a 1-1-liar," screamed Charley. " I 
don't want to de-de-desert. I want ter see 
Capt'n Chew. Didn't ye never see a flag o' 
truce? " said Charley, whipping a dirty cotton 
handkerchief out of his pocket. 

The Confederate picket called a comrade to 
take his place, and started to the rear, leading 
the horse and cursing and wondering by turns 
at the curious fish he had taken in his net. 

" You take me to Cap'n Chew's b-battery," 
said Charley, turning back on his guard, " 'cos 
his brother is a-dyin' over yonder." 

" You're a fool," said the guard, and turn- 
ing up the hill to the right, he drove his charge 
into a park of shining Napoleons crowning a 
rocky ledge, with lunettes of rails and dirt 
circHng in front of each frowning gun. 

"I've brought you a lunatic," said the 
picket, addressing himself to the surging circle 
of men and officers. " He has some sort of a 
message for Captain Chew." 

In his embarrassment, Charley more than 



The Demented Ones" 



justified his keeper's description by grimaces 
and wri things. 

"Be you Cap'n Bob Ch-Che\v ? " cried 
Charley, cutting a circle in the air with his 
thumb, and jabbing his head sideways at the 
officer he elected for the Captain. 

'' Yes," said the Captain ; " go on." 

"Well, then," began Charley, gathering 
himself together for a long speech, " your 
brother Lew sent me over here t' tell you t' tell 
that pooty gal in Fal-Fal-mouth that he got his 
arm shot, an' can't m-m-marry her next 
week." 

" Come to my tent," said the Captain, part- 
ing his way through the crowd and taking 
Charley by the arm. 

There was a long interview between the two, 
in which Charley described as best he could the 
desperate situation of the young Virginian. 

" He's got ter have his arm took off short," 
said Charley. 

The excited brother walked up and down 
under the trees. " You are an artillery-man ? " 
said the Captain, halting square in front of our 
hero. 

" No ; n-nothin' but a sub-sta-sta-tute," said 
Charley. 

" How did you get here ? " said the other. 



The Demented Ones " 



" I come up along o' the quartermaster to 
bring the Cap'n his coffee, an' I rid out here t' 
tell you how Lew was shot, an' couldn't m-m- 
marrythe pootygal," said Charley, with a great 
and successful effort. 

' ' You belong to a battery ? " 

"Yes, I do." 

*' What one? " 

" Battery k-k-Q." 

" And who commands Battery Q ? " 

"Cap'n Ne-Neal." 

" Where is Captain Neal's Battery Q? " 

"No ma-ma-matter," said Charley, with a 
writhing contortion that winked one eye invol- 
untarily. " I guess I told ye all I k-k-know." 

" And I reckon you are a pretty good sol- 
dier, and don't know it," said Captain Chew. 
" I suppose you want to go back to Battery Q? " 

" I knowed you'd s-send me back s-safe," 
said Charley, " 'cos I cum for Lew." 

The Captain had a consultation with his of- 
ficers, during which the guard again took charge 
of the prisoner. 

" Many more like you-uns 'mongst the 
Yanks?" said a long - geared driver, lifting 
Charley's cap from his head. 

"You ain't n-no good," said Charley. 
" Gimme that cap." 

203 



" The Demented Ones" 



" Look alive, boys ! " said the other ; "he's 
gettin' ready to jump down his throat." 

"Gimme that cap!" screamed Charley, 
making a futile effort to reach it from the long 
driver's hand. 

The high words and jeering laughter reached 
the ears of Captain Bob Chew, Avho strode to 
Charley's side with flashing eyes. "This 
young gentleman is a friend of mine," said he, 
" and I will punish the first man who insults 
him by word or look. Smith, hand him his 
cap. Now say, ' I beg your pardon, sir.' 
Very well, sir. Now go back to your team. 
Now, my boy," said Captain Chew, "I am 
going to send you back, with a letter to your 
Captain, and with a bundle of clothing which I 
am sure you will deliver safely to my poor 
brother. ' ' 

The gray horse, with his frying-pans and 
nose-bags, was led out, and the Confederate 
Captain held Charley's stirrup with all the po- 
liteness he would have shown a fine lady. The 
bundle of clothing was strapped fast behind his 
saddle. The directions for placing him outside 
the lines were carefully given to the officer of 
the pickets. 

"And now, my fine fellow," said Captain 
Chew, grasping Charley's hand, "you have 
204 



The Demented Ones " 



done me a service I am powerless to repay. 

Good-by, and God bless you ! And d 

the man that dares to do you harm ! 

By this time the soft moonlight was falling 
through the tree-tops. The little company of 
Charley's escort vied with each other to do 
him honor. They shook hands with him all 
round at the outpost, and gave the gray horse a 
friendly whack at parting. 

It was nine o'clock, and the men of Battery 
Q were sleeping under the carriages, when an 
infantry picket emerged from the tunnel of 
green leading Charley's horse, that afflicted 
young gentleman sitting bolt - upright in the 
saddle, as proud as a knight. 

Mink and Sanderson and Captain Neal were 
seated on the supper rocks in the moonlight, 
canvassing the disappearance of Charley. The 
two other lieutenants were already rolled up in 
their blankets. 

On came the corporal of the guard conduct- 
ing the picket, and riding between them the 
silent culprit. Captain Neal sprang to his feet. 

'< Where in thunder have you been, Char- 
ley? We never expected to see you alive." 

"Oh, that's all r-right, Capt'n. I've been 
over to see the J-Johnnies. Here's a 1-letter 
for you." 

205 



" The Demented Ones " 



" Is he crazy?" muttered Captain Neal, as 
he took the letter to the hght of a smouldering 
fire. 

" Captain Neal, Battery Q. Politeness of 
Charley. ' ' 

The letter conveyed the compliments of Cap- 
tain Robert Chew to Captain Neal, stating in 
brief the service Charley had rendered, and 
begging the Captain to see that the bundle of 
clothing was delivered as directed. 

In five minutes half the battery was awake 
and crowding around the hero of the advent- 
ure. 

" These things must be delivered at once," 
said Captain Neal, in his short, nervous way. 
" The trains are marching. Charley will 
have to move with us to-night. Look here. 
Mink, can Charley ride your horse? " 

"Of course," said Mink. "He can ride 
the devil, once put him in the saddle." 

" Have him saddled, then," said the Captain, 
" and strap that bundle behind as taut as a sail 
in the wind. Order both buglers to saddle. 
Ho, Dick ! Where are you ? Put the saddle 
on Black Prince. We will execute this little 
commission in state," said the Captain, walking 
nervously back and forth on the turf. "And 
all honor to Charley ! " 

206 



The Demented Ones'' 



The boys howled with dehght. 

When the horses came up, the two natty 
buglers sitting erect and silent, sniffing the 
fun like their mounts. Captain Neal turned to 
Charley : 

" You are going to ride with me, young man. 
I expect you to stick to my off- stirrup like a 
chestnut burr to a sheep's wool. Do you un- 
derstand ? ' ' 

" I understa-sta-stand," said Charley, " you 
bet." 

The boys held the curb of xVIink's mettlesome 
chestnut until stirrup and rein were adjusted to 
Charley's satisfaction ; then the Captain swung 
himself into the saddle. 

Three cheers and a tiger were given for 
Charley Fitch as the snorting horses sprang 
forward over the turf. The Captain turned out 
of his way to leap a log or a ditch, but Char- 
ley, with his telescope cap clawed down to his 
lopping ears, was square with his elbow, never 
before and never behind ; and the silent 
buglers were plunging after them, keeping a 
mathematical interval, with their chins in the 
air, their elbows squared, and their brazen 
bugles flashing from the small of their backs. 
Over a ridge and down a bank they shoot, out 
on to the silent turnpike, white in the moon- 
207 



" The Demented Ones'' 



light, four sets of hoofs ringing on the hard 
road-bed. To Charley it is the proudest mo- 
ment of his life as he glances between the sharp 
ears of the leaping chestnut, and then twists 
his eyes and mouth on the glittering shoulder- 
knots of the Captain. 

"You ride like a brick," said the Captain, 
drawing rein for the first time. 

" The boys th-th-thought 1 was a fool," said 
Charley. 

" Tom Brown was shot to-day," said the 
Captain. " Would you like his team ? " 

"Yes, Captain, I would. Will ye le-let 
me ? " 

" If you think you could take a new uniform 
and keep it clean." 

"By gum!" cried Charley; "I'll be the 
biggest dandy in the b-battery ! " 

"Then you shall have it, my boy," said the 
Captain ; "and here we go." 

And away they tore in the yellow moonlight, 
until they were close upon the moving lights 
under the hospital tree. The silent buglers 
took the panting horses. The Captain loosened 
the bundle of clothing, and handed it to Char- 
ley. 

The wretched company had increased its 
circumference under the tree, but Charley 



The Demented Ones'' 



picked his unerring way among the wounded 
until he reached the little circle of gray coats. 

" Lew Chew! " cried Charley. 

" Here," said the young Virginian, raising 
his sound arm, and looking out of the shadows 
at the strange visitor and at the tall officer fol- 
lowing. 

" Here's the things yer b-brother sent," said 
Charley, laying the bundle beside him. " I 
told him you c-couldn't come to marry the 
pooty gal." 

* ' Have you seen my brother ? ' ' cried the 
happy boy. " God forgive me, I didn't under- 
stand you ! " And he was wringing Charley's 
hand. 

' ' Yes, ' ' said the Captain ; "he has been 
through the lines. Heaven only knows how he 
did it ! Here is the letter your brother A\Tote 
me. Keep it while I go and see what can be 
done for your comfort. ' ' 

The poor wounded boy could hardly believe 
he was awake ; it was all too good to be true. 
During the Captain's prolonged absence, Char- 
ley dilated on the scenes and events of his pas- 
sage across the lines, and his short sojourn in 
the Confederate battery, with wonderful volu- 
bility for him, and with involuntary gyrations 
and convulsions and grimaces, which were by 

209 



" The Demented Ones " 



no means the cause of the happy Virginian's 
half-hysterical glee. The wounded arm was 
not to be amputated. 

"You are a brick," cried the Virginian, 
wringing Charley's hand for the twentieth time. 

And then came the other brick, Captain 
Neal, with the chief surgeon in tow, and two 
muscular hospital nurses. 

"We have no use for bridegrooms-elect," 
said the doctor. •' Let's rob the government 
this time, and send him back by the same un- 
derground road." Then to the bearers, 
" Bring that man carefully out of the crowd." 

"Now hold the lantern here." It is the 
Captain speaking. " Here is your parole ; sign 
it. We believe you will keep it like an honor- 
able gentleman until you are notified of your 
official exchange ; and here is a letter to your 
brother. ' ' 

The letter conveyed the compliments of Cap- 
tain John Neal to Captain Robert Chew, and 
congratulations to the bride-elect. 

The wounded prisoner was lifted into the 
saddle by Bugler Ohld, who walked at his side. 
He was sent down the tunnel of green on the 
worthless gray, and before marching-time in the 
morning, the old horse came back with Captain 
Chew's card nailed to the empty saddle. 



" The Demented Ones" 



For five days of merry fighting the rejuve- 
nated Charley, in a brand-new uniform, sat his 
lead-team blinking and grimacing at the fiery 
shells dealing destruction about him. On the 
sixth he presented himself before the Captain, 
heels together and head up. Sitha Charley : 
" It ain't m-my fault, Capt'n. I know I ain't 
ornam-m-mental on a lead-team. Guess I bet- 
ter go back an' clean up old Spence. He ain't 
no good the way he is. ' ' 



The Horses that Responded 



THE HORSES THAT RESPONDED 

WHEN Lieutenants Mink and Sander- 
son of Battery Q felt the crying 
need of other society than that of their 
martial comrades of the mess, they ordered 
their horses and took their way to the red 
brick house on the hill, surrounded by tall lo- 
custs and elms shaped like umbrellas. There 
lived the old Colonel Nicholas Randolph, an 
invalided relic of earlier wars, and his two 
daughters, Trot and Plumb. 

The way lay through a narrow lane, whose 
walls of stone were not available for fuel in the 
camps. The old house was within the lines, 
and for the protection of their new-found friends 
the two young officers had billeted a battery 
guard on the place. 

The youngsters were always received by the 
old Colonel with a pompous oration, all just as 
if he had never seen them before. 

"Will one of you gentlemen oblige an old 
wreck by opening that doah into the hallway ? 
1 thank you, sir. Ge — urls ! Ge — urls ! 

215 



The Horses that Responded 



" The old times have gone, sir. The Old 
Dominion is crushed for the time being, sir, 
under the heel of the invader. My honored 
friend, Bob Lee, will return to the fair fields of 
Culpepper County. In the meantime, while 
we are waiting fo' Bob as it were, the flowing 
bowl of the house of Randolph is at the service 
of the invader within its gates. If I could get 
off the small of my back, gentlemen, I should 
be riding with Bob and hunting such gallant 
game as you gentlemen I see befo' me, instead 
of grinning at you between two ornery old car- 
pet slippers, the helpless old booby that I am." 

The tall, fair daughters of Nicholas Randolph 
stand responsive, in the old doorway, to the 
summons of their father. 

" Trot, my dear, and Plumb, you are not 
unacquainted with the cultured gentlemen from 
the North who have honored me with their 
company this evening. ' ' 

It is one o'clock by the tall old timekeeper in 
the hall. 

" Come here, Plumb, you huzzy, and shift 
my left foot the sixteenth of an inch to the 
right. Now bring a bottle of the '56 grape. 
If Nicholas Randolph, Esquire, is /lors de coin- 
bat for the time being, gentlemen, I reckon he 
can fire one more volley of grape into you ias- 
216 



The Horses that Responded 



cinating gentlemen from the invading artil- 
lery." 

"And there is not a thirsty beggar of us in 
Battery Q knows how to dodge that sort of 
ammunition," said Mink, stretching out his 
long legs, and toeing over to keep his spurs out 
of the ancient flowered carpet. 

" By the way. Colonel, I brought you a bun- 
dle of the latest New York papers. ' ' 

" Burn New York ! ' ' cried the old man out of 
the depth of his cushions. " Saving your pres- 
ence, gentlemen, what irritates me is that that 
youngster [Mink is out in the gallery, despatch- 
ing the guard to his saddle pockets], ova'- 
whelming us all with kindness, is a bohn gen- 
tleman from the guns on his cap to the spurs on 
his heels when he's ho business to be, by gad, 
sir ! and I am a disgrace to Virginia, but I 
love you both, sir." 

The grizzled old Colonel, with his thin, high 
nose like a hawk's beak, and two restless gray 
eyes twinkling out of two cavernous sally-ports, 
the bony head fringed with a bristling abatis of 
coarse iron-gray hair, is literally resting on the 
small of his back. His feet are elevated on a 
padded support nearly as high as the back of 
his chair. His rheumatic hands, the purple fin- 
gers stiffened outward at an obtuse angle with 
217 



The Horses that Responded 



the palms, lie restless at his sides. The Colonel 
rests in a nest of cushions, like a Coehorn mor- 
tar in its bed, and the whole complex outfit is 
mounted on wheels. The door-sills were lev- 
elled twenty years ago for the easy transit of 
the old master's gun-carriage, who thunders at 
his attendants on his way to the gallery as he 
stormed Chapultepec. 

Mink, with the bundle of papers in his hand, 
whispered an order to the guard, and as the 
Colonel's car rolled through the doorway, that 
belted and shining soldier presented sabre. 
A moist light shone in the old man's eyes, 
and his right hand struggled with the cush- 
ions. 

" By the left flank ! " he cried. " March ! 
Front ! — Now, my dears, for the glasses." 

" Let me name the toast," said Mink. '"To 
the days when we shall all be at peace.' " 
And it was turned off silently, pretty Trot 
touching her daddy's lips with the clumsy lit- 
tle one-legged cup of cut glass. 

" With your consent, Colonel," .said Mink, 
" Miss Plumb and I are going for another gal- 
lop out toward the mountain. I'll detail 
Sanderson to stay with you and hold Miss Ran- 
dolph's yarn." 

" No ! " cried the Colonel. " Plumb shall 
218 



The Horses that Responded 



not go. The roads are not safe. I'll not 
have you captured in the company of my 
daughter, sir. 

This rejoinder from the Colonel was no more 
than Mink expected, and the velvet - tongued 
Plumb hovered persuasive, as usual, over her 
daddy's chair until the old gentleman came 
round to her way of thinking. 

" I've struck my colors," said the Colonel, 
' ' so many times to that girl already, I may as 
well haul down the garrison flag altogether and 
burn the staff — hey. Lieutenant ? ' ' 

The soft air was loaded with the perfume of 
honeysuckles from the curtain of vines closing 
the south end of the high Doric porch. By 
turning his head to one side the Colonel looked 
out over his fenceless fields to the purple walls 
of the Blue Ridge. There was not a visible 
sign of the great army camping so near, except 
perhaps in the dearth of rails and stacks, and in 
the plenitude of crows and buzzards flapping 
against the cloudless sky. Down by the en- 
trance gate two orderlies stood with the horses, 
and the Colonel asked that the animals be 
brought in on the drive, for, after all these 
years, his heart was still true to a horse. 

The old man's appreciative eye ran over the 
powerful shoulders, short back, and flat legs of 

219 



The Horses that Responded 



Mink's chestnut, and then up to the animal's 
bony head and large, nervous nostril. 

"There's ahorse, sir," said the Colonel. 
" If you ever get in a tight place, Mr. Mink, 
big as you are, burn my body but he will carry 
you out of it." 

" When he gets in a tight place," said San- 
derson, " he rides a government horse. What 
do you think of my bay. Colonel ? Swing him 
around, Dennis. Miss Plumb will ride him to- 
day." 

" Plumb will have her hands full," muttered 
the Colonel, " but she can ride him, sir; if she 
couldn't, sir, I'd cut her off without a shilling. 
I raised my girls in the paddock with the colts ;" 
and the Colonel fed his eyes complacently on 
the glossy coats of the horses, reflecting the 
blue of the sky above and catching the warm 
lights from below. "Take up another link in 
the curb chain," said the Colonel, as Mink 
walked over to inspect his orderly's work and 
give another strain to the girths of the young 
lady's saddle ; " hey, Mr. Sanderson, you know 
his mouth." 

And here comes Plumb as fresh as a peach, 
with a kiss for the Colonel, and one little hand 
for Lieutenant Sanderson, who has furnished 
her mount — Plumb in a ravishing habit of gray. 



The Horses that Responded 



with a white felt hat on her chestnut hair, 
which falls behind in a net, according to the 
fashion of that benighted time, a red rose at 
her throat, and a stiff little scarlet feather in her 
hat-band, complimentary to the colors of her 
artillery escort. 

The pair — shall I say the lovers ? I fear so ; 
for that rogue of a Mink was quite equal to the 
indiscretion, and young girls were never yet 
proof against the wiles of the enemy — rode 
demurely down the pied avenue. Then, too, 
when Mink whistled up his orderly and gra- 
ciously excused his further attendance, that 
shrewd young fellow concluded it was a far 
gone case, and chuckled and winked to himself 
as he galloped across the fields to the camp. 

It is of no great moment to anyone but 
themselves just what these young persons said to 
each other as they rode at a walk under the 
spreading trees, their quiet horses treading the 
lacework of sunshine and shadow that dappled 
the road. But the way in which they said it, 
the bending forward with appealing gesture of 
one, and the averted head of the other, the 
movement of the shoulders, the touch of hands, 
the quiet laughter, the steady gaze of four eyes 
firing double-barrelled volleys at each other I 

Love - making on horseback is much more 



The Horses that Responded 



dignified and reserved than the same youthful 
pursuit in a carriage. It leaves more to be 
hoped for and less to be regretted. 

It is not all walking in the shade, for the 
fresh horses now and then gallop on in the sun- 
light, and the mountains are rising and coming 
to meet them. It is not a safe country for an 
officer of the Army of the Potomac to be riding 
in, but Lieutenant Mink and Miss Plumb in her 
gray habit have forgotten everything but each 
other. Ten miles have they ridden into the 
jaws of danger, serenely oblivious of the Colo- 
nel's parting injunction. 

Lieutenant Mink alighted, alarmed at length 
by their very nearness to the mountains, and, 
looking nervously about him, tightened the 
girths of the saddles. A mile back they had 
met a sober - looking old farmer bestride a 
steady -going horse, and they had been too ab- 
sorbed to notice that he had soon thereafter 
quickened his pace, looking back as he rode. 

Mink kept his counsel as they galloped rap- 
idly on the return, thinking to spare his com- 
panion unnecessary anxiety, but pretty Plumb 
knew more of the resorts of the partisan rangers 
than he. As the sun sank at their backs, 
throwing longer shadows before, that prudent 
young lady thought it her duty to speak. 

222 



The Horses that Responded 



"I have heard," said Mink, laughing, and 
carelessly snipping his boot with his whip, " that 
it is the part of good generalship to be always 
prepared for surprise ; to have one's army in 
hand, you know. Now I am the general to-day, 
and you are the army. The first lesson for the 
army to learn is bhnd obedience. You are a 
soldier's daughter, my dear Miss Plumb " 

' ' And half a soldier myself, ' ' said she, look- 
ing admiringly at her broad-shouldered escort. 
" I think I should love a charge." 

''You may have it, my dear," said Mink. 
" In any event it is no surrender." And then 
turning a grave, penetrating look on his pretty 
companion : '' You are sure you will obey the 
word of command, whatever it is, and that in- 
stantly ? ' ' 

"Whatever it is, and instantly," said she, 
looking up into the eyes of her general. 

" Even if I ride one way and order you an- 
other ? " 

" Even so, I will obey." 

A half mile in front, five men, well mounted 
and well armed, and accompanied by the old 
farmer bestride the steady-going horse, himself 
now carrying a gun, are riding in pursuit of the 
reckless officer and the lady. The shoe-prints 
are clearly impressed in the sand, for the old 



The Horses that Responded 



farrier had guided his horse to one side, not to 
disturb the trail. 

" You said the ofificer and the lady was ridin' 
a fine pair o' horses, Uncle Billy," said the 
leader of the band. 

" Jes so, Cap' ; an' you'll bar me out when 
ye see them bosses. Nothin' finer haint gone 
over these roads lately. ' ' 

" Mighty sorry, gentlemen, to make the gal 
walk and rob her of her cavalier too. But I 
reckon there are three animals in that outfit we 
all will have to take charge of. When they come 
in sight, you Jack, and you Tom, just ride out 
on the flanks. I expect they'll give up easy." 

The raiders had drawn rein at the foot of a 
hill, and at this stage of the conversation were 
a hundred yards from the top, well bunched in 
the road, and proceeding at a walk. At the 
same moment Lieutenant Mink, who was half 
a length ahead of Miss Plumb, intent on getting 
the first glance over the hill, handed his whip 
to his companion. 

" Now, my dear, for that charge," he said, 
drawing his sabre from its lashings under the 
skirts of his saddle. "Ride close to my side 
and ride hard." 

Then shooting on to the top of the hill, with 
a touch of his heel that stung the nerves of the 

224 



The Horses that Responded 

chestnut and tautened the reins like a bow-strinp-, 
Mink swung the glittering blade above his head 
and shouted with all his lungs, " Here they are, 
boys ! Charge ! ' ' 

In that instant the bay sprang to his side, 
little Plumb's teeth set and her eyes flashing 
with excitement. Down the hill the gallant 
animals plunged to the charge, with a furious 
momentum that Mink well knew would be ir- 
resistible at so short a dash. The bunch of 
horsemen parted each way, j^erceiving it was to 
be a chase instead of a halt. But Lieutenant 
Mink was not content even with this advantage, 
and, seeing the Captain of the rangers cocking 
his rifle, swerved the big chestnut to the left, 
and, as he shot by, swung his long arm around 
the Captain's neck and dropped him over his 
horse's crupper into the road, as if the man had 
been a sack of grain. 

And on the powerful, mettlesome horses 
plunged, now spurning the level road under 
their ringing hoofs, their riders feeling their 
superb muscles working under them like the 
throb of an engine. A quarter of a mile is 
gained at the start and not a word has been 
spoken, although Mink has turned a satisfied 
eye on plucky little Plumb flying at his side, 
with her white teeth set hard and tears of ex- 

225 



The Horses that Respojided 



citement glistening in her eyes. Four bullets 
have indeed whistled high over their charmed 
heads, and he draws a breath of relief for the 
sake of his companion in peril. Then Mink 
drops his sabre into its scabbard, and leans for- 
ward to take a good look in Miss Plumb's face ; 
their hands meet, and he laughs merrily to re- 
assure her, and she laughs a little hysterically 
in return. 

" My darling, you are a worthy daughter of 
the old Colonel, and I am proud of you. One 
— two — three — four — did you happen to hear 
the Captain's gim ? " said Mink. "I fancy he's 
not in the race. Ease 'em up, my dear," he 
continued : ' ' there is time enough to run when 
we are pressed." 

But the horses refused to be eased, and the 
chestnut took much coaxing before he could be 
persuaded to slacken his pace. 

There was a scattering pursuit, but it was 
hopeless from the first, for the nervous, high- 
strung hoi-ses of the pursued party sprang for- 
ward at the slightest .slackening of the rein, run- 
ning with a joyous, high-headed abandon that 
kept them easily out of range. 

The Colonel and his party were still on the 
gallery when the wanderers rode up the drive, 
their mounts as wet as if they had just swum 
226 



The Horses that Responded 



the river, and altogether in finer form than 
when they walked out of the gate. 

Little Plumb was as cool as a veteran, not a 
fold of her habit disarranged, and after kissing 
her father she gave him the humorous side of 
the charge and the fate of the burly Captain. 

" Shiver my trunnions ! " cried the Colonel, 
glaring first at his daughter and then at Lieuten- 
ant Mink, leaning with his hands in his pock- 
ets against a Doric pillar, and then over the 
rail at the two quiet horses walking off in charge 
of the orderlies, " dash my buttons, if I know 
which of the four I admire most ! ' ' 



^ -»^ 



" Lights Out ! 'Liz'beth 
Rachael " 



A MONOLOGUE 



" LIGHTS OUT ! 'LIZ'BETH RACH- 
AEL " 

IT was all on account o' 'Liz'beth Rach- 
ael. 

I don't look like a man as would break his 
heart over a woman, do I? I ax you, com- 
rades, an' I ax you square, ef I look like I 
had too much sentiment into my make-up? 
I'm sort o' plain, humspun ole Chris' Bradley, 
I be ; an' that's what everybody knows me 
fur aroun' here. Post nights and camp - fires 
an' meetin' a Sunday is all the dissipation I 
takes to — 'cept when the chores is done on 
the farm a-nights I puts on my G.A.R. hat, 
an' mebby my vest, an' goes up to the village 
to see the boys. 

You didn't jest know 'Liz'beth Rachael, 
you two, an' you come a long ways to 'tend 
the buryin', an' I'm partic'lar obleeged to the 
heft o' Snyder Post as come along with ye. I 
kallate we sha'n't never see the boys fire a 
volley over a woman's grave agin. 

Poor 'Liz'beth Rachael ! She'd a' been 

231 



"Lights Out! 'Lii'beth Rachael" 

proud to heard the guns. An' jest afore we 
left the buryin' -ground, when it was growin' 
sort o' meller an' dusky, an' drefful still after 
the volley, an' the powder-smoke was hangin' 
to the bushes, an' all the boys was lookin' inter 
their hats, to see old Bugler Frisbee step out 
on the hillside, so straight an' dark agin the 
yeller sky, an' blow them powerful tender 
notes that goes rite through a soldier's heart — 
" Lights out ! 'Liz'beth Rachael — Lights out ! 
'Liz'beth Rachael — L-i-g-h-t-s o-u-t ! " 

I ain't much onto poetry, comrades, but 
that air business tuk a powerful hold on my 
feelin's. Seein' all them gray heads bowed 
under the old flag-staff, an' it hevin' scarcely 
enough rags left onto it to flutter in the wind, 
an' the smell o' the powder agin, jest took me 
plum back to the day when Dick Welton fell 
dead under that same flag-staff, an' Jones an' 
Color-Sergeant Brown afore him, in less time 
than it takes to tell ye. Dick was 'Liz'beth 
Rachael' s man, ye understand. 

Like to hear the story, would ye ? Well, 
comrades, I 'low I feel more like marchin' 
over the old ground again to-night than ever I 
did afore. Things is freshened up in my mind, 
like. I'm a boy agin, doin' odd chores round 
the village, carryin' bundles in the harvest field 



"Lights Out! 'Lii'betb Rachael" 



an' pickin' thistles out o' my toes an' nussin' 
stone- bruises on my heels, an' gettin' a little 
schoolin' in the winter, an' fightin' the other 
boys on account o' 'Liz'beth Rachael. 

I was alus at the foot o' the class an' 'Liz'- 
beth Rachael alus up to the head, fur she was 
quick to learn, an' that's the reason I hated 
the school — fur keepin' us so fur apart. Out- 
side we jest growed up together, an' nobody 
interfered, an' everybody tuk it all fur granted, 
same as I did, an' same for 'Liz'beth Rachael. 

There was jest one thing come betwixt us 
two to spile the dress-parade, an' I don't 'low 
to favor myself, comrades — not parti c'lar on 
the night o' 'Liz'beth Rachael's buryin'. 
When things worried me, an' likewise when I 
had too much luck, I liquored accordin', an' 
that set all the women advisin' 'Liz'beth Rach- 
ael, an' 'Liz'beth Rachael advisin' me. She 
was mighty sweet an' pooty them days — tall 
an' trim as a sergeant - major, an' sassy as a 
lieutenant home on leave, an' when she told 
me off fur punishment duty I tuk the discipline 
some quieter than ever I did in the field. 

But 'twa'n't no use. Much as I wanted to 
do right an', please 'Liz'beth Rachael — an' I 
loved her more'n all the world beside — some- 
thin' would turn up to put me back in the 

233 



"Lights Out! 'Li{betb Rachael' 

police squad, an' then, bless her, she'd take 
me out o' the guard-house an' we'd be some- 
thin' more'n comrades agin, goin' to meetin' 
together — 'Liz'beth Rachael sung in the choir 
— an' plannin' to take the old folks' farm on 
shares, an' reformin', an' all that. 

I 'lowed to do right, comrades, but makin' 
promises to 'Liz'beth Rachael was like startin' 
on a charge, double-quickin', an' cheerin' an' 
howlin' to keep your courage up until, suddin- 
like, soraethin' happens to change yer mind. 
You meet up with somethin' you didn't ex- 
pect. I didn't have the pluck to hug the 
ground an' scrape up a bit o' cover — alus found 
myself in full retreat afore I knowed it. 

Along then the old folks turned agin me, 
an' Dick Welton took to drivin' over from the 
Cross Roads, an 'Liz'beth Rachael sort o' 
favored him — some folks said to make me 
jealous, but I couldn't believe that o' 'Liz'beth 
Rachael — an' I lost heart an' jest clean de- 
serted to the enemy. 

That spring the war broke out, an' Dick 
jumped in and raised the first company in the 
county, an' everybody swore by Dick, an' 
'Liz'beth Rachael couldn't a' helped lovin' 
him ef she'd tried. Pretty much all the gals in 
the village did the same, an' I didn't blame 'em. 

234 



Lights Out! 'Li^'beth Kachael" 



'Liz'beth Rachael cried an' tuk on an' said 
she'd alus be my friend, an' made me promise 
to reform for her sake. 

Jest before the company started they was 
fast married in the church, an' I went up with 
the rest an' saw it all through, jest as if I didn't 
care. I tell you it didn't take me long to find 
out that Pumford wa'n't no place for me to 
stop in, an' I turned out an' 'listed in Dick's 
company afore it left the State. 

Somehow I couldn't never keep it in my 
mind that Dick was my rival an' actually the 
husband of 'Liz'beth Rachael — he was so brave 
an' keerful o' the boj-'s, he seemed more like a 
big brother. He was some older' n me. 

You was both of ye at Antietam ! 

Well, now, shake. 

What — up on the right, too? Hooray! 
Shake again. You'll understand it all. That's 
where we left poor Dick in the smoke that 
September Sunday. 

You remember how we got onto the skirmish 
line in the dusk, an' how the line run across 
the field in the open an' then into the woods 
on the flank, an' the brush we had with the 
Johnnies afore we settled down an' got quiet in 
the dark ? 

Shake ! 

235 



"Lights Out! 'Li{'betb Rachael" 



An' how the last scatterin' shots went bang- 
bang in the pastur', an' boom - boom in the 
woods, an' sparkled like fire-flies in the grass ? 

Shake ! 

An' then how mortal still it got, an' cold, 
an' the shuckin' o' the gun-wheels up on the 
ridge behind whar the batteries was unlimber- 
in' an' gettin' quiet into place ; an' the chop- 
pin' an' poundin' of the Johnnies buildin' up 
the granite ledges into breastworks, an' the 
sound of ammunition-wagons all night on the 
road by the Dunker Church. 

Shake ! shake ! We was there ! 

Dear me ! I can smell the pastur', wet with 
the dew, an' see the stars shinin' above the 
woods to the right — so cold and far off, as if 
'twa'n't none o' their fight. 

Creepy, now wa'n't it, boys, layin' thar lis- 
tenin' to the preparations — wonderin' whar 
ye'd be same time next night — battery fellers 
stumblin' on ye in the dark huntin' for water 
to fill the sponge-buckets, an' we a-knowin' 
the ball would open the minute it got light 
enough to see the gray devils layin' out in front ? 

But I'm forgettin' all about Captain Dick. 

It was helter-skelter afore noon over in front 
of that little chapel. We got orders to charge 
on a brigade formin' to strike our flank,_ an' 
236 



"Lights Out! 'Li:(betb Rachael" 

we charged pell-mell down the slope, die big 
guns up above roar in' over our heads and 
plungin' shell into the woods an' the church. 
The brigade we started for slumped off to the 
right an' lapped in behind us an' got scooped 
up by the troops follerin', an' all the time we 
was pushin' back the Johnnies in front, rallyin' 
up with the colors — blazin' right an' left — 
smoke too thick to breathe easy — shells bustin' 
everywhere — flag down — flag up — boys didn't 
know when they was hit — captains gettin' 
scarce — Color - Sergeant Brown lyin' dead 
across that same old stick you seen to - day 
with the rags onto it. 

Cap'n Dick rolled him off an' raised the 
colors once more, an' we all yelled an' cheered, 
an' some jest cried with excitement but banged 
away all the same, an' more loaded and fired 
still as mice ; an' sudden like all the rebs 
melted away in front of us into the ground, an' 
we set up a cheer an' went ahead after Captain 
Dick, the staff" in one hand an' holdin' up the 
colors on the pint of his sword with the other, 
an', my God ! the ground afore us jest blazed 
with a sheet o' fire from behind a step-off o' 
granite rock as nobody could see, an' Captain 
Dick went down an' half the boys along with 
him. Poor old Dick knowed he was done for, 

237 



"Lights Out! 'Lii'beth Kachael" 

an' he thro wed the flag back with all his 
strength, an' we carried it away over the boys 
lyin' wounded an' dead on the pastur', — an' I 
thought o' 'Liz'beth Rachael waitin' home an' 
her Dick trampled among the nameless dead. 
An' that's how we cum to call the post after 
Dick— " Richard Welton Post, G.A.R., No. 
140." 

When we got a stray letter from home there 
was always some bad news about 'Liz'beth 
Rachael. There was plenty of home folks here 
in Pumford lost kin that day — half the women 
was dressed in black — but none of 'em took it 
so hard as 'Liz'beth Rachael. First she was 
reg'lar sick with grief an' worrit, an' then the 
baby died, an' she was clean gone out of her 
head. For weeks and months she lay sick with 
fever, an' the neighbors never expected her to 
get well. An' when she did cum round she 
couldn't seem to remember anything 'cept 
Dick an' the war an' the baby that was dead. 

It's thirty years now since we all come home 
— seems like yisterday — ragged an' dirty uni- 
forms — only twenty in the company — old flag 
some torn an' shot up, but ye could read the 
names o' battles in gold letters on every stripe, 
white an' red — jest thirteen of 'em. We 
marched over from the railroad in the dust an' 
238 



"Lights Out! 'Li:(beth Rachael" 



sun — ten miles — route step, heads up. Wom- 
en to the gates with lemonade an' cake — har- 
vest hands on the fences, villages turnin' out. 
Men an' boys follerin' a - foot, a - horseback, 
an' in wagins. 

All Pumford was on the Mill hill to meet us, 
an' they fell on us ten to one. 

You bet, comrades, I was lookin' for 'Liz- 
'beth Rachael's 'mongst the faces, an' thar it 
Avas, the eagerest, wildest -eyed ye ever seen, 
chargin' clean through the ranks afore all the 
rest, an' when she didn't find Dick she begun 
to call him out loud an' run among us an' stare 
at each of us with her wild, dry eyes. She 
didn't even know me — 'Liz'beth Rachael 
didn't. So we jest told her that Dick hadn't 
got along yet, an' then Fred Gibbs an' me led 
her away to some o' the women in black 
clothes that was cryin' together behind the 
rest, an' Mis' Wiggins, whose two boys was 
both killed, put her arms around 'Liz'beth 
Rachael an' comforted her the best she could. 

It was dreadful hard lines, holdin' onto that 
little hand an' supportin' 'Liz'beth Rachael 
along, an' she not knowin' me, as growed up 
along with her an' loved her so long. Some- 
how the women was all a blur when we give 
her up to 'em, an' I pinted back to the boys. 

239 



"Lights Out! 'Lii'beth Rachael 



Well, 'Liz'beth Rachael was jest the same 
from that day on — always expectin' Dick, an' 
always askin' fur him ef she met up with a sol- 
dier. She knowed all of us fur friends o' 
Dick's when we had our rigimentals on, but 
she never seemed to know one of us from 
t'other. It was heart-breakin' to hear her ask 
the same old question, " Whar's my Dick? " 
an' bimeby we got to answer her, " Oh, he's 
all right," an' that seemed to satisfy her, an' 
everybody in the village come to answer her in 
the same way, down to the little kids jest larn- 
in' to talk. 

When we organized the post we called it the 
" Richard Welton Post,G.A.R., No. 140." 
'Liz'beth Rachael seemed to think she had 
some interest into it. Every other Friday 
night she stood outside the door an' asked the 
guard whar her Dick was, an' some o' the com- 
rades brought their wives along reg'lar, jest to 
talk to 'Liz'beth Rachael and take her home. 
But 'twa'n't no use tryin' to keep her out of 
Richard Wei ton Post when she 'lowed she be- 
longed there, an' we talked the matter over, 
an' all the comrades agreed that 'Liz'beth 
Rachael couldn't do no harm if she was let to 
set inside. 

Now, that's the way her relations witli flic 

240 



'•Lights Out! -Lii'beth Rachael" 

post begun. After a while we made her a seat 
beside the chaplain, an' 'Liz'beth Rachael was 
always in it, and never knowed the pass-word 
nor yit the grip. We told her the word was 
"Dick," an' she comes up to the guard an' 
whispers " IMy Dick," an' he lets her by, an' 
she marches up an' salutes the commander jest 
like the rest, an' turns off to her reg'Iar place. 
Little changes for her sake crep' in, one after 
another, an' ever since Major Wise's time, years 
ago, after the opening prayer the commander 
would stand up and strike his gavel an' look 
at 'Liz'beth Rachael, an' she would stand up 
an' say, "Where's my Dick?" an' all the 
post would rise an' say, "Oh, he's all right," 
an' then go on with business jest as if she 
wa'n't there; an' 'Liz'beth Rachael looked so 
contented an' happy, an' set so still, that we 
all felt glad to do so much for Dick's widow. 
And every post night, when the exercises was 
over, 'Liz'beth Rachael saluted and walked 
straight home, never lookin' to the right nor 
left, an' the armed guard was marchin' twenty 
paces behind her. 

But I tell you, comrades, Decoration Day 
was the beginnin' an' end of the year for 'Liz'- 
beth Rachael. She had some sort of an idea 
that Dick had somethin' to do with the flag, 
241 



"Lights Out! 'Lii'beth Rachael" 

an' nothin' would do but she must carry the 
old colors, an' carry them she did, as long as 
she lived, her thin gray hair uncovered to the 
sun an' the wind. Some of the women talked 
to her about Dick an' the baby until she kind 
o' got the two confounded, an' so, when we 
heaped the flowers on the little grave an' told 
her they was for Dick, she was so happy ar- 
rangin' the little flags an' wreaths on the green 
mound an' over the white headstone that she 
clean forgot to ask the old question. 

Then, 'Liz'beth Rachael growed the heft of 
the flowers herself. That was her little cottage 
what we took her out from, with the rose- 
bushes trailin' over the shed an' the pinks an' 
pinys growin' in the garden an' the phlox an' 
'zalias hidin' the fences. What with the 
locust - trees in bloom, an' the clover patch 
blowed out, it was sweet enough around whar 
'Liz'beth Rachael lived to make a bumble-bee 
stagger. 

Did ye take notice of the sign over the porch 
— it was half hid with climbin' roses to-day — 
" Richard Welton Post, G.A.R., No. 140," 
in red letters on a white board with a blue bor- 
der ? Well, we had that lettered an' put up 
for her, an' she was as proud of it as a paintin'. 

'Arly in the spring we ploughed the garden 

242 



"Lights Out! 'Lii'hetb Rachael" 

an' dug the beds for her, an' sowed the seeds 
an' did the pottin'-out — fur all winter 'Liz'- 
beth Rachael had the windows an' the glass 
shed full o' roses an' geraniums an' sich, an' 
she never forgot to water an' tend um, nuther. 
In the summer she might sell a nosegay to the 
city folks, but afore the thirtieth day o' May 
nobody couldn't buy a sprig. 

One day Miss King — her folks come up from 
Cincinnaty in the summer time — druv with 
some strangers to see 'Liz'beth Rachael, an' 
when they kem down to the gate, the'r arms 
full o' roses, 'Liz'beth Rachael seen the flunky, 
all buttons, standin' by the kerridge door, an' 
she ups an' asks him, '■ Whar's my Dick ? " 
an' the feller stared like he was shot, an' Miss 
King took her hand in hern, with the tears in 
her eyes, an' says, so sweet, " Oh, he's all 
right." 

Now, wa'n't that clever? Everybody was 
that a-way to 'Liz'beth Rachael. 

A little afore she died her memory come 
back to her like second sight. The women an' 
the preacher told her about everything, an' she 
thanked everybody for all what they had done 
for her. She sent for me an' made me tell her 
ever)rthing I could remember about Dick, an' 
how he bore up the flag, an' all that happened 

243 



"Lights Out! 'Li^'beth Racbael" 



that day. An' I had to tell it to her over an' 
over again, an' mebby if I disremembered some 
little thing she'd pull me up an' say, " Chris, 
you forgot about the shells burstin' overhead," 
or "You didn't tell me about the gun- wheels 
soundin' in the night, just as Dick an' you 
heard 'em," an' then I had to go over it all 
again. 

An' she talked to me about the old days be- 
fore the war, an' remembered everything jest 
as I remembered it. But never mind, com- 
rades, about that part, 'Liz'beth Rachael is 
gone, an' there'll be another vacant chair in 
Richard Welton Post, G.A.R., No. 140, an' 
when some old fire dog turns up in Pumford 
with a cord on his hat or brass buttons on his 
vest, as they mostly does, thar won't be no 
'Liz'beth Rachael to ax him, " Whar's my 
Dick?" 



244 



The Widow of the General 



THE WIDOW OF THE GENERAL 

IN the quiet burial-ground of a little village 
by the sea, somewhere within the bounda- 
ries of the northern half of the restored Union, 
lie at rest two officers of the old army whom a 
difference of opinion — the one a native of 
Maine, and the other of Louisiana — for a time 
made enemies, but who now, reunited, are sleep- 
ing shoulder to shoulder in the last long sleep. 

Once a year the two mounds are strewn, the 
one with roses, and the other with flowers of 
the magnolia and orange, and, strange to re- 
late, the Southern blossoms are laid on the grave 
of the Northern soldier, while the flowers of the 
North are always heaped on the other mound. 

A plain marble shaft rises above the head of 
the Northern soldier, white among the brown 
head - stones of six generations of sailors and 
fishermen. 

On the principal face of the monument is' 
the following inscription : 

BRIG : GENERAL , 

i8— . i8— . 
Duke et decorum est pro patria mori, 

247 



The Widow of the General 



And on the right-hand face, in incised let- 
ters of a much more recent date : 

COLONEL , 

Friend and Classmate. 
Comrade. 

In the same village by the sea lives a beauti- 
ful lady, the widow of the General. Although 
her hair has grown silvery gray with advancing 
years, time has dealt over gently with the pale 
thoughtful face and with the erect slender fig- 
ure. All the year she wears the weeds and 
bands of widowhood, except on one particular 
day, and that the 30th of May, when it pleases 
this lady to go abroad radiant in a dainty cos- 
tume of harmonious colors, which comes fresh 
from the modiste's on the evening before, and 
which is sent away on the day after to be sold 
in the city for the benefit of some charity. It 
is because, she says, weeds and flowers have no 
place together that she decks herself like a bride 
on this festival of the flowers, and goes forth to 
rejoice, leaving the shadow of her mourning 
behind. 

In all her native village no young girl is 

more cheerful and contented with her lot than 

this lady in sombre black and spotless white, 

whose mind and fingers are busy all the days 

248 



The Widow of the General 



with projects of charity and dainty creations in 
needlework. 

On winter nights, when storms are abroad, 
and the seas beat on the sands with a boom 
and roar like distant artillery, the General's 
widow sits closer to the fire, thankful that there 
is no war in the land, and if her thoughts 
wander away to the clash and tumult of other 
fields long since quiet, is it any wonder ? 

On a certain evening, when this lady's win- 
dows are open to the soft breath of spring, and 
when her eleventh dainty costume (she trusts it 
is dainty, although she has no heart to look at 
it) lies unopened in its box on the table, her 
thoughts have wandered still further away, to 
one of the frontier posts of the old army — a lieu- 
tenant's wife absorbed in all that took place be- 
tween the rising of the sun and the going down 
of the garrison flag. She thought of many 
things, but most of a certain hare-brained lieu- 
tenant, who was forever getting her Jack into 
hot water on the strength of their having been 
classmates and roommates at the Academy ; 
and how he got himself in hot water through 
his violent love for a girl from New York who 
descended on the garrison in the regular way, 
and how she coolly left him in ice-water when 
it came to a serious consideration of the dififer- 



249 



The Widow of the Geiiernl 



ence between a silver leaf and a single bar. 
She remembered that she herself had banished 
him to bachelor quarters when she appeared at 
the post, where she found the two lieutenants 
living together, and quarrelling like monkeys 
and parrots to make up for the prolonged in- 
activity of their regiment. 

Once, during a little discussion as to rank, 
Bob had sneered at Jack's three days' seniority, 
and sworn hotly that he should be sorry to be 
buried on the same field, except for the chance 
— with his best bow — of Emily turning up with 
more tears than .she cared to waste on him. 

And once, just before his resignation from 
the old regiment to take up arms against us all, 
Bob had said: "Take notice. Jack, I have 
always wanted to quarrel with you, and never 
had much success. Looks like my wildest 
hopes would be more than gratified — ha, old 
man ? ' ' And so they had hectored and nagged 
and loved each other. 

Bob had been living abroad since the close 
of the war, broken in health and temper, but 
now and then he wrote the most pathetic and 
amusing letters to the widow of his old friend. 

The widow of the General came back with 
a start from the frontier post, listened for a 
moment to the murmur of the surf, like vi'ry 

250 



The IVidow of the General 



distant artillery, and took from the table the 
last letter of this much-disappointed old soldier : 

" My Dear Madam and Friend, — It is no 
matter where I am, but wheresoever that may- 
be, I take the liberty to pray for your happiness 
as often as I venture to ask any official favors 
for myself This morning — fact — I ran against 
Blowser, of the old regiment, steering a red 
mountain of flesh and a drove of little hil- 
locks into a railway compartment too con- 
tracted for the old girl herself The little fool 
pretended he didn't know me, and I shook 
him by the collar until he was as red as a lob- 
ster; and then, says I, 'Blowser, I'll forgive 
you for the sake of your family,' and shoved 
him into the sardine-box. He enchanted me 
with American manners to that extent that I 
resolved to come home at once, and I have 
already taken passage in a sailing vessel, where 
I shall not be badgered ten times a day to bet 
my last stiver on the run of the ship. If you 
are all as polite as Blowser, I shall pack up 
my wooden leg and come back on the fastest 
steamer afloat. 

" Otherwise I shall kiss the hand of my old 
friend in the early summer, and billet myself 
in quarters near by, where I can hobble over 



The Widow of the General 



and hear all there is to be told about the man 
whom it has been my lot to love above all 
others. 

"Life has turned out for me very different 
from what I pictured it as a saphead subaltern ; 
but I want you to understand that I have noth- 
ing to regret except the misfortune of my birth 
on the wrong side of a family quarrel. Given 
the same problem again, I should solve it by 
the same suicidal folly. I am not a man with- 
out a country, for I can walk heartily under the 
old flag — and more — all I have to complain of 
is that I can't serve under it. During my best 
years I have been a man disbarred from the 
ranks of the profession he loved, and all for an 
accident of birth. I had no heart to enter a 
foreign army and cut throats for a beggarly 
salary. 

" As for my old friend Jack, he might — he 
should — have lived on, an ornament to his pro- 
fession and a comfort to his incomparable wife. 
I, on the contrary, should have died in the 
front of the battle, riddled, pulverized, as the 
only rational way out of the difficulty." 

Here the General's widow shed a few tears, 

and folded the letter without re-reading further. 

The village had been astir since early morn- 

252 



The IViJow of the General 



ing with the tramp of men and the sound of 
drums and the laughter of children. The vet- 
erans, in their post uniforms, had marched and 
countermarched on the broad grassy street, 
carrying aloft their ragged flags, and all the 
people cheering. At sunrise the old church- 
yard had been heaped and strewn with fresh 
flowers, and little printed cotton flags had been 
thrust into each mound marking a soldier's 
grave. 

The General's widow, together with other 
women similarly bereaved, but gayer and more 
joyous in her spring attire than any of the 
others, whether maids or mothers, has helped 
the old soldiers in their beautiful work, strip- 
ping her garden and grounds of flowers, until 
to-morrow they will be as sombre and devoid 
of color as herself. But, like /a cigale, she 
thinks only of to-day, glad in the warm sun- 
shine and the cool east wind from the sea, and 
gloAving with gratitude to the soldiers and the 
children who have jostled each other to lay 
their tributes on the mound that covers her 
General. 

How joyous the world is, and how sweet and 
fitting to live in it, hallowed by the memory of 
her dead ! 

For four days the prevailing winds have 

253 



The Widow of the General 



been from the east, cooling and refreshing to 
the villagers and the workmen in the fields, 
and inclining to drowsiness the dwellers in the 
newly opened cottages. Day by day waves 
have lapped gently on the beach, so that the 
weakest bathers have scorned the ropes, and 
the surfman has tied up to the buoy and gone 
to sleep in his rocking boat. But all the time 
the spreading waves from a great storm at sea, 
hundreds of miles away, pushed along by the 
unvarying winds, have been moving on the 
unsuspecting coast, bringing nearer and nearer 
that wonderful phenomenon of a raging sea 
under a smiling summer sky. 

Absorbed in the exercises of the morning, 
the people have paid little heed to the roaring 
of the surf, which has been rising steadily dur- 
ing the night. And now as they are dispersing 
to their homes, news comes of the boisterous 
behavior of the sea, and the curious begin to 
move leisurely in the direction of the beach. 
Arrived beyond the orchards, where one gets 
the first glimiDse of the ocean, there comes sud- 
denly into view a great flashing wall of foam, 
tumbling over and over on the reaches of beach 
visible between the sand hills, and throwing 
masses of spray above the tops of the highest 
dunes, whereon the people are already gathering 

254 



The Widow of the General 



in interested groups. Then the men and boys 
begin to run as if there were danger of the 
monster ceasing to rage, and all the fields are 
sprinkled with the people coming, and the hills 
are black with the people come, standing awe- 
struck among the tall grasses and the ragged 
plum-bushes. 

On come the green ridges of water, one 
above another, each a huge curving wall break- 
ing with a deafening boom into a boiling, de- 
vouring mass of foam, coming on over the 
highest line of the beach, licking up tons of 
sand as it comes, and depositing it again as it 
surges into tameness against the foot of the an- 
cient dunes, and turns down within the beach 
a green foam -flecked current floating every- 
thing movable within its reach. 

How the bath-men are hurrying to and fro 
roping the smaller houses to the larger ones, 
and how the captives at the ends of their 
tethers bob in the current like apples in a bowl 
of water ! The boats are already haled into 
safety behind the hills. 

Deeper and heavier grows the volume of 
water moving like a broad river between the 
crest of the beach and the foot of the sand 
hills, bearing brush and drift-wood and camp- 
chairs and occasionally a bath - house on its 

255 



The Widow of the General 



seething current, until, at the weakest point, the 
beach yields, and the flood pours back into the 
sea through a gorge cut in a moment, carrying 
out logs, houses, and chairs, to reappear like 
straws in the tumbling foam — to land for an 
instant on the wet sand, and then to be sucked 
back into the hungry waters. 

The lady of the General is there, her festal 
robes fluttering and dampening in the sticky 
salt wind, and the veterans, in their shirt 
sleeves and hats bound round with gold cord, 
are running to and fro shouting in great glee, 
and rescuing whatever comes within their reach 
as if they were scouring over a conquered field 
— charging into the edge of the flood, and lay- 
ing down plans to rescue groups of youngsters 
who have been surrounded unwittingly, as in- 
dustriously as if they were at the pontoon- 
bridges again. 

" The ball's open ! " 

" Don't ye hear the rebel yell ? " 

" Lay down quick ! there comes a shell ! " 

" Nigger eat sponge cake ! " 

How the old boys enjoy their holiday, and 
riot in the war of the elements ! 

Some tire of the spectacle, and go away, but 
others come to fill their places. Hour after 
hour the sea becomes more furious, the wind 
256 



The Widow of the General 

snipping off the crests of the waves until no 
eye can penetrate the thickening spray and 
spume. Out of the invisible the great walls of 
green chase each other, more majestic and irre- 
sistible than ever, and all the time the sky 
overhead is without a cloud, and behind, the 
heat is throbbing above the orchards and the 
village as if the land took no note of the sea. 

The beach has risen foot after foot, built up 
by the layers of sand brought in and released 
by the boiling surf, until the bath - houses, 
which have clung to their foundations, look 
like hen-coops, with the flood swirling into the 
narrow strips of darkness under the eaves which 
were once the tops of doorways, and the shel- 
ters of oak boughs, built to protect the horses 
from the sun, are torn and dripping a few 
inches above the surface of the new beach. 

Fascinated by the grandeur of the spectacle, 
and absorbed in watching the physical changes 
wrought in the land by this battle between the 
sand and the sea, the people linger on the 
dunes until sunset, and then hurry to their 
homes to snatch a mouthful of refreshment, and 
come again with thick wraps to crouch on the 
dry hills and watch and marvel. 

The old soldiers have built fires of drift-wood 
behind the scarps of the sand hills, and as the 

257 



The Widow of the General 



widow of their beloved General comes again, 
they insist upon stationing her party at the 
camp fires while they go and come on the ridge 
to bring her news of the enemy. 

Hark ! what is that sound, half heard and 
half feared, which seems to come out of the 
darkness through the roaring of the surf ? Not 
faint, as betokening distance, but undetermin- 
able in the tumult of sound. Once ! — doubted 
— the people murmur, "Did you hear?" 
Twice ! — feared — the crowd is hushed. 
Thrice ! Thrice .' Then the people know 
they have heard guns from a crew in distress 
close behind the impassable wall — know that 
they are fellow-creatures facing death, actually 
but a few hundred yards off the beach, while 
practically they may be as many leagues away. 

Boats are not to be thought of. The crew 
has come up from the station, and the old sol- 
diers are running to and fro with ropes, and help- 
ing to drag the mortar on to the highest sand 
hill. From time to time the guns are heard 
again — one — two — three, and rockets are sent 
up from the land, ploughing away into the gloom, 
and bursting over the breakers into flower-pots. 

An hour has passed. The crews have come 
up from four miles to the north and from four 
miles to the south. 



The Widow of the General 



And now the eastern sky is reddening behind 
the spume of the surf which hides the rising 
moon. Again the guns — one — two — three — 
and guided by the sound the practised eyes of 
the surf-men, aided by the growing light, de- 
tect a blotch of shadow through the veil of 
spume that may be the spars of the wreck. 

One after another the mortars throw their 
shells athwart the sea, until at last a line is 
found to be taut, and communication is estab- 
lished with something living on the ship. 

In all the turmoil and excitement no one is 
so calm and collected as the General's widow. 
Who else, indeed, shall establish the hospital by 
the fires in the lee of the sand dunes ? Who 
but her old soldiers shall be the stretcher- 
bearers, and who but they her willing orderlies 
eager to do her bidding — running post to the 
village for blankets and stimulants, marshalling 
the doctors, confiscating the available supplies 
of the life-saving station, and ready to turn 
carts and phaetons into ambulances, every old 
boy a provost marshal in himself, sworn into 
the service of the tall quiet lady wearing the 
black ulster over the dainty spring costume? 

The incomparable lady of the General, pupil 
of the revered master who still lies alone on the 
hill, putting into practice the old lessons of the 

^59 



The Widow of the General 

camp, decorating his memory with the sub- 
stance of brave deeds, as she has just strewn his 
grave with the symbol of flowers. 

The battle is over. The dead and the 
wounded are coming rapidly into the field 
hospital, tenderly borne by the practised old 
stretcher - bearers. A few have come ashore 
safely by the running rigging over the rope ; 
but alas ! more have been thrown up by the 
surf, beaten and mangled by the timbers of the 
breaking ship. 

In the light of the flaring fires the uncon- 
scious, the dying, and the dead are gathered 
on the sand, the nurses and doctors busy with 
their ministrations. The tall lady of the Gen- 
eral, mistress of every detail, is moving gently 
from group to group through the smoke, calling 
each of her veteran assistants by name, while 
the remnant of her old soldiers is posted in an 
impassable cordon to keep back the idle crowd 
of lookers-on. 

One after another, with incredible labor, the 
half-drowned have been revived, broken limbs 
have been set, and the unhappy victims borne 
away through the summer night to comfortable 
quarters in the village. 

Bodies are yet to be recovered from the 
waves, but only bodies. The gray banner of 

260 



The Widow of the General 



the coming day is already streaming above the 
pitiless sea, paling the light of the fires, and 
rendering more ghastly the scenes behind the 
sheltering dunes. The lady of the General 
shows no signs of fatigue and no abatement of 
energy, as constant to her self-imposed duty as 
her old guard, silhouetted damp and chilly 
against the morning. 

Besides the hopelessly dead, covered ten- 
derly from sight, there is but one remaining 
tenant of the hospital, the battered and 
wounded form of a grizzled old man, now 
showing faint signs of consciousness. The 
doctors are at work again, and the lady of the 
General bends over the old body, watching 
hopefully the returning sparks of life, and feel- 
ing that her long vigil is nearly at end, and 
that she can soon dismiss her faithful guard, 
for whom she feels more solicitude than for 
herself. More stimulants are administered. 

She bends down and raises the old head, 
bolstering it up with a roll of blankets, and sees 
the closed eyes open and shut again. Thank 
God, in his goodness, it is only a question of 
time ! When the eyes reopen, she is chafing 
one cold hand between her warm palms. The 
patient makes a weak effort to move, and utters 
a snarling groan, delightful to the ear of the 

261 



The Widow of the General 



doctor. Then the doctor redoubles his efforts, 
vigorously rubbing and slapping the patient's 
sound leg. With persistent effort he has drawn 
off the sodden boot, to find — a leg of cork ! 

" That beats the record," cried the ex- 
hausted medical man. 

"Shut up!" growled the patient. And 
then, his eyes resting on the lady, and his 
crooked fingers closing around her hand, 
" Jack's Emily, by G — ! " 

And then she recognizes Colonel Robert 

, C.S.A., dearest friend of the General, 

and what should she do at last but break down 
in a flood of tears ! 

"Call in the guard, Emily," said the old 
man; "the fight's over. I want t' see a 
United — States — soldier once more." 

Then the old veterans come trooping around 
the dying Colonel, C.S.A., their dumb eyes 
full of sympathy. 

Clinging with his left hand to the hand of 
Emily, widow of his dearest old friend, he 
stretches his right to the nearest old soldier, 
grasping with all his poor power. 

"Comrades," said the Colonel, "you — 
were born on — the right — side. For God's 
sake — boys — old boys — stand shoulder — to — 
shoulder — for the — old flag. God bless you ! 

2^2 



The Widow of the General 



Emily — Jack's — Emily — I'm — going — lay — 
i:ie — by — Jack. ' ' 

And so the two officers of the old army sleep 
shoulder to shoulder at last, in the village by 
the sea, watched over by the dearest friend of 
both, and yearly strewn with roses and flowers 
of the magnolia and orange. 



263 



The Adventures of Certain 
Prisoners 



THE ADVENTURES OF CERTAIN 
PRISONERS 

IT was past noon of the first day of the 
bloody contest in the Wilderness. The 
guns of the Fifth Corps, led by Battery D 
of the ist New York Artillery, were halted 
along the Orange turnpike, by which we had 
made the fruitless campaign to Mine Run. 
The continuous roar of musketry in front and 
to the left indicated that the infantry was des- 
perately engaged, while the great guns filling 
every wooded road leading up to the battle- 
field were silent. Our drivers were lounging 
about the horses, while the cannoneers lay on 
the green grass by the roadside or walked by 
the pieces. Down the line came an order for 
the centre section, under my command, to ad- 
vance and pass the right section, which lay in 
front of us. General Warren, surrounded by 
his staff, sat on a gray horse at the right of the 
road where the Avoods bordered an open field 
dipping between two wooded ridges. The 
position we were leaving was admirable, while 
267 



T})e Adventures of Certain Prisojiers 

the one to which we were ordered, on the op- 
posite side of the narrow field, was wholly im- 
practicable. The captain had received his 
orders in person from General Warren, and 
joined my command as we passed. 

We dashed down the road at a trot, the can- 
noneers running beside their pieces. At the 
centre of the field we crossed by a wooden 
bridge over a deep, dry ditch, and came rapid- 
ly into position at the side of the turnpike and 
facing the thicket. As the cannoneers were not 
all up, the captain and I dismounted and lent a 
hand in swinging round the heavy trails. The 
air was fiiU of minie-balls, some whistling by 
like mad hornets, and others, partly spent, 
humming like big nails. One of the latter 
struck my knee with force enough to wound to 
the bone without penetrating the grained - 
leather boot - leg. In front of us the ground 
rose into the timber where our infantry was en- 
gaged. It was madness to continue firing here, 
for my shot must first plough through our own 
lines before reaching the enemy. So after one 
discharge the captain ordered the limbers to 
the rear, and the section started back at a gal- 
lop. My horse was cut on the flanks, and his 
plunging, with my disabled knee, delayed me 
in mounting, and prevented my seeing why the 
268 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

carriages kept to the grass instead of getting 
upon the roadway. When I overtook the guns 
they had come to a forced halt at the dry ditch, 
now full of skulkers, an angle of which cut the 
way to the bridge. Brief as the interval had 
been, not a man of my command was in sight. 
The lead horse of the gun team at my side had 
been shot and was reeling in the harness. 
Slipping to the ground, I un toggled one trace 
at the collar to release him, and had placed my 
hand on the other when I heard the demand 
" Surrender ! " and turning found in my face 
two big pistols in the hands of an Alabama 
colonel. " Give me that sword," said he. I 
pressed the clasp and let it fall to the ground, 
where it remained. The colonel had taken me 
by the right arm, and as we turned toward the 
road I took in the whole situation at a glance. 
My chestnut horse and the captain's bald-faced 
brown were dashing frantically against the long, 
swaying gun teams. By the bridge stood a 
company of the 6ist Alabama Infantry in but- 
ternut suits and slouch hats, shooting strag- 
gling and wounded Zouaves from a Pennsyl- 
vania brigade as they appeared in groups of 
two or three on the road in front. The col- 
onel as he handed me over to his men ordered 
his troops to take what prisoners they could 
269 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

and to cease firing. The guns which we were 
forced to abandon were a bone of contention 
until they were secured by the enemy on the 
third day, at which time but one of the twenty- 
four team horses was living. 

With a few other prisoners I was led by a 
short detour through the woods. In ten min- 
utes we had turned the flank of both armies 
and reached the same turnpike in the rear of 
our enemy. A line of ambulances was moving 
back on the road, all filled with wounded, and 
when we saw a vacant seat beside a driver I 
was hoisted up to the place. The boy driver 
was in a high state of excitement. He said 
that two shells had come flying down this same 
road and showed where the trace of the near 
mule had been cut by a piece of shell, for 
which I was directly responsible. 

The field hospital of General Jubal Early's 
corps was near Locust Grove Tavern, where 
the wounded Yankees were in charge of Sur- 
geon Donnelly of the Pennsylvania Reserves. 
No guard was established, as no one was sup- 
posed to be in condition to run away. At the 
end of a week, however, my leg had greatly 
improved, although I was still unable to use it. 
In our party was another lieutenant, an aide on 
the staff of General James C. Rice, whose horse 
270 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

had been shot under him while riding at full 
speed with despatches. Lieutenant Hadley 
had returned to consciousness to find himself 
a prisoner in hospital, somewhat bruised, and 
robbed of his valuables, but not otherwise dis- 
abled. We two concluded to start for Washing- 
ton by way of Kelly's Ford. I traded my pen- 
knife for a haversack of corn-bread with one of 
the Confederate nurses, and a w'ounded officer, 
Colonel Miller of a New York regiment, gave 
us a pocket compass. I provided myself with 
a stout pole, which I used with both hands in 
lieu of my left foot. At 9 p.m. we set out, 
passing during the night the narrow field and 
the dry ditch where I had left my guns. Only 
a pile of dead horses marked the spot. 

On a grassy bank we captured a firefly and 
shut him in between the glass and the face of 
our pocket compass. With such a guide we 
shaped our course for the Rapidan. After 
travelling nearly all night we lay down exhaust- 
ed upon a bluff within sound of the river and 
slept until sunrise. Hastening to our feet 
again, we hurried down to the ford. Just be- 
fore reaching the river we heard shouts behind 
us and saw a man beckoning and running after 
us. Believing the man an enemy, we dashed 
into the shallow water, and after crossing safely 
271 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



hobbled away up the other side as fast as a 
man with one leg and a pole could travel. I 
afterward met this man, himself a prisoner, at 
Macon, Ga. He was the officer of our pick- 
ets, and would have conducted us into our lines 
if we had permitted him to come up with us. 
As it was, we found a snug hiding - place in 
a thicket of swamp growth, where we lay in 
concealment all day. After struggling on a 
itvf miles in a chilling rain my leg became so 
painful that it was impossible to go farther. A 
house was near by, and we threw ourselves on 
the mercy of the family. Good Mrs. Brandon 
had harbored the pickets of both armies again 
and again, and had luxuriated in real coffee 
and tea and priceless salt at the hands of our 
officers. She bore the Yankees only good-will, 
and after dressing my wound we sat down to 
breakfast with herself and her daughters. 

After breakfast we were conducted to the 
second half-story, which was one unfinished 
room. There was a bed in one corner where 
we were to sleep. Beyond the stairs was a pile 
of yellow ears of corn, and from the rafters and 
sills hung a variety of dried herbs and medi- 
cinal roots. Here our meals were served, and 
the girls brought us books and read aloud to 
pass away the long days. I was confined to 
272 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



the bed, and my companion never ventured be- 
low stairs except on one dark night, when at 
my earnest entreaty he set out for Kelly's Ford, 
but soon returned, unable to make his way in 
the darkness. One day we heard the door 
open at the foot of the stairs, a tread of 
heavy boots on the steps, and the clank, 
clank of something that sounded very much 
like a sabre. Out of the floor rose a gray 
slouch hat with the yellow cord and tassel of 
a cavalry-man, and in another moment there 
stood on the landing one of the most aston- 
ished troopers that ever was seen. " Coot " 
Brandon was one of " Jeb " Stuart's rangers, 
and came every day for corn for his horse. 
Heretofore the corn had been brought down 
for him, and he was as ignorant of our pres- 
ence as we were of his existence. On this 
day no pretext could keep him from coming 
up to help himself. His mother worked 
on his sympathies, and he departed prom- 
ising her that he would leave us undisturbed. 
But the very next morning he turned up 
again, this time accompanied by another 
ranger of sterner mold. A parole was exacted 
from my able-bodied companion and we were 
left for another twenty-four hours, when I was 
considered in condition to be moved. Mrs. 

273 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



Brandon gave us each a new blue overcoat 
from a plentiful store of Uncle Sam's clothing 
she had on hand, and I opened my heart and 
gave her my last twenty-dollar greenback — and 
wished I had it back again every day for the 
next ten months. 

I was mounted on a horse, and with Lieu- 
tenant Hadley on foot we were marched under 
guard all day until we arrived at a field hospi- 
tal established in the rear of Longstreet's corps, 
my companion being sent on to some prison 
for officers. Thence I was forwarded with a 
train-load of wounded to Lynchburg, on which 
General Hunter was then marching, and we 
had good reason to hope for a speedy deliver- 
ance. On more than one day we heard his 
guns to the north, where there was no force 
but a few citizens with bird-guns to oppose the 
entrance of his command. The slaves were em- 
ployed on a line of breastworks which there 
was no adequate force to hold. It was our 
opinion that one well-disciplined regiment 
could have captured and held the town. It 
was several days before a portion of General 
Breckinridge's command arrived for the de- 
fence of Lynchburg. 

I had clung to my clean bed in the hospital 
just as long as my rapidly healing wound would 
274 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

permit, but was soon transferred to a prison 
where at night the sleepers — Yankees, Confed- 
erate deserters, and negroes — were so crowded 
upon the floor that some lay under the feet of 
the guards in the doorways. The atmosphere 
was dreadful. I fell ill, and for three days lay 
with my head in the fireplace, more dead than 
alive. 

A few days thereafter about three hundred 
prisoners were crowded into cattle cars bound 
for Andersonville. We must have been a week 
on this railroad journey when an Irish lieu- 
tenant of a Rochester regiment and I, who had 
been allowed to ride in the baggage car, were 
taken from the train at Macon, Ga. , where 
about sixteen hundred Union officers were con- 
fined at the Fair Grounds. General Alexander 
Shaler, of Sedgwick's corps, also captured at 
the Wilderness, was the ranking officer, and to 
him was accorded a sort of interior command of 
the camp. Before passing through the gate we 
expected to see a crowd bearing some outward 
semblance of respectability. Instead, we were 
instantly surrounded by several hundred ragged, 
bare-footed, frowsy-headed men shouting ' ' Fresh 
fish ! " at the top of their voices and eagerly 
asking for news. With rare exceptions all were 
shabbily dressed. There was, however, a little 

275 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

knot of naval officers, who had been captured 
in the windings of the narrow Rappahannock 
by a force of cavalry, and who were the aristo- 
crats of the camp. They were housed in a sub- 
stantial fair-building in the centre of the grounds, 
and by some special terms of surrender must 
have brought their complete wardrobes along. 
On hot days they appeared in spotless white 
duck, which they were permitted to send out- 
side to be laundered. Their mess was abun- 
dantly supplied with the fruits and vegetables of 
the season. The ripe red tomatoes they were 
daily seen to peel were the envy of the camp. 
I well remember that to me, at this time, a 
favorite occupation was to lie on my back with 
closed eyes and imagine the dinner I would or- 
der if I were in a first-class hotel. It was no 
unusual thing to see a dignified colonel washing 
his lower clothes in a pail, clad only in his uni- 
form dress-coat. Ladies sometimes appeared on 
the guard-walk outside the top of the stockade, 
on which occasions the cleanest and best-dressed 
men turned out to see and be seen. I was quite 
proud to appear in a clean gray shirt, spotless 
white drawers, and mocassins made of blue over- 
coat cloth. 

On the Fourth of July, after the regular 
morning count, we repaired to the big central 
276 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



building and held an informal celebration. One 
officer had brought into captivity, concealed on 
his person, a little silk national flag, which was 
carried up into the cross-beams of the building, 
and the sight of it created the wildest enthusi- 
asm. We cheered the flag and applauded the 
speeches until a detachment of the guard suc- 
ceeded in putting a stop to our proceedings. 
They tried to capture the flag, but in this they 
were not successful. We were informed that 
cannon were planted commanding the camp, 
and would be opened on us if we renewed our 
demonstrations. ' 

Soon after this episode the fall of Atlanta and 
the subsequent movements of General Sherman 
led to the breaking up of the camp at Macon, 
and to the transfer of half of us to a camp at 
Charleston and half to Savannah. Late in Sep- 
tember, by another transfer, we found ourselves 
together again at Columbia. We had no form 
of shelter, and there was no stockade around 
the camp, only a guard and a dead-line. Dur- 
ing two hours of each morning an extra line of 
guards was stationed around an adjoining piece 
of pine woods, into which we were allowed to 
go and cut wood and timber to construct for 
ourselves huts for the approaching winter. Our 
ration at this time consisted of raw corn-meal 
277 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

and sorghum molasses, without salt or any pro- 
vision of utensils for cooking. The camp took 
its name from our principal article of diet, and 
was by common consent known as " Camp Sor- 
ghum. ' ' A stream of clear water was accessible 
during the day by an extension of the guards, 
but at night the lines were so contracted as to 
leave the path leading to the water outside the 
guard. Lieutenant S. H. M. Byers, who had 
already written the well-known lyric " Sher- 
man's March to the Sea," was sharing my tent, 
which consisted of a ragged blanket. We had 
been in the new camp but little more than a 
week when we determined to make an attempt 
at escape. Preparatory to starting we concealed 
two tin cups and two blankets in the pine woods 
to which we had access during the chopping 
hours, and here was to be our rendezvous in case 
we were separated in getting out. Covering 
my shoulders with an old gray blanket and pro- 
viding myself with a stick from the woodpile 
about the size of a gun, I tried to smuggle my- 
self into the relief guard when the line was con- 
tracted at six o'clock. Unfortunately an unex- 
pected halt was called, and the soldier in front 
turned and discovered me. I was now more 
than ever determined on getting away. After 
a hurried conference with Lieutenant Byers, at 

278 



The AJveiitiiit's of Certain Prisoners 

which I promised to wait at our rendezvous in 
the woods until I heard the posting of the ten 
o'clock relief, I proceeded alone up the side of 
the camp to a point where a group of low cedars 
grew close to the dead-line. Concealing my- 
self in their dark shadow, I could observe at my 
leisure the movements of the sentinels. A full 
moon was just rising above the horizon to my 
left, and in the soft, misty light the guards were 
plainly visible for a long distance either way. 
An open field from which the small growth had 
been recently cut away lay beyond, and between 
the camp and the guard-line ran a broad road 
of soft sand — noiseless to cross, but so white in 
the moonlight that a leaf blown across it by the 
wind could scarcely escape a vigilant eye. The 
guards were bundled in their overcoats, and I 
soon observed that the two who met opposite 
to my place of concealment turned and walked 
their short beats without looking back. Wait- 
ing until they separated again, and regardless of 
the fact that I might with equal likelihood be 
seen by a dozen sentinels in either direction, I 
ran quickly across the soft sand road several 
yards into the open field, and threw myself down 
upon the uneven ground. First I dragged my 
body on my elbows for a few yards, then I crept 
on my knees, and so gradually gained in dis- 

279 



The Adventures of Ceiiaiii Prisoners 

tance until I could rise to a standing position 
and get safely to the shelter of the trees. With 
some difficulty I found the cups and blankets 
we had concealed, and lay down to await the 
arrival of my companion. Soon I heard several 
shots which I understood too well ; and, as I 
afterward learned, two officers were shot dead 
for attempting the feat I had accomplished, and 
perhaps in emulation of my success. A third 
young officer, whom I knew, was also killed in 
camp by one of the shots fired at the others. 

At ten o'clock I set out alone and made my 
way across the fields to the banks of the Saluda, 
where a covered bridge crossed to Columbia. 
Hiding when it was light, wandering through 
fields and swamps by night, and venturing at 
last to seek food of negroes, I proceeded for 
thirteen days toward the sea. 

In general I had followed the Columbia turn- 
pike ; at a quaint little chapel on the shore of 
Goose Creek, but a few miles out of Charleston, 
I turned to the north and bent my course for 
the coast above the city. About this time I 
learned that I should find no boats along the 
shore between Charleston and the mouth of the 
Santee, everything able to float having been 
destroyed to prevent the escape of the negroes 
and the desertion of the soldiers. I was ferried 



The Adventures of Certam Frisoners 

over the Broad River by a crusty old darky 
who came paddling across in response to my 
cries of " 0-v-e-r," and who seemed so put out 
because I had no fare for him that I gave him 
my case-knife. The next evening I had the 
only taste of meat of this thirteen days' journey, 
which I got from an old negro whom I found 
alone in his cabin eating possum and rice. 

I had never seen the open sea-coast beaten by 
the surf, and after being satisfied that I had no 
hope of escape in that direction it was in part 
my curiosity that led me on, and partly a vague 
idea that I would get Confederate transportation 
back to Columbia and take a fresh start west- 
ward bound. The tide was out, and in a little 
cove I found an abundance of oysters bedded i n 
the mud, some of which I cracked with stones 
and ate. After satisfying my hunger, and find- 
ing the sea rather unexpectedly tame inside the 
line of islands which marked the eastern hori- 
zon, I bent my steps toward a fire, where I found 
a detachment of Confederate coast-guards, to 
whom I offered myself as a guest as coolly as if 
my whole toilsome journey had been prosecuted 
to that end. 

In the morning I was marched a few miles to 
Mount Pleasant, near Fort Moultrie, and taken 
thence in a sail-boat across the harbor to Charles- 
281 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



ton. At night I found myself again in the city 
jail, where with a large party of officers I had 
spent most of the month of August. My cell- 
mate was Lieutenant H. G. Dorr of the 4th 
Massachusetts Cavalry, with whom I journeyed 
by rail back to Columbia, arriving at " Camp 
Sorghum " about the ist of November. 

I rejoined the mess of Lieutenant Byers and 
introduced to the others Lieutenant Dorr, whose 
cool assurance was a prize that procured us all 
the blessings possible. He could borrow frying- 
pans from the guards, money from his brother 
Masons at headquarters, and I believe if we had 
asked him to secure us a gun he would have 
charmed it out of the hand of a sentinel on 
duty. 

Lieutenant Edward E. Sill, of General Daniel 
Butterfield's staff, whom I had met at Macon, 
during my absence had come to ' ' Sorghum ' ' 
from a fruitless trip to Macon for exchange, and 
I had promised to join him in an escape when 
he could secure a pair of shoes. On the 29th 
of November our mess had cut down a big pine- 
tree and had rolled into camp a short section of 
the trunk, which a Tennessee officer was to split 
into shingles to complete our hut, a pretty good 
cabin with earthen fireplace. While we were 
resting from our exertion. Sill appeared with his 
282 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

friend Lieutenant A. T. Lamson of the 104th 
New York Infantry, and reminded me of my 
promise. The prisoners always respected their 
parole on wood-chopping expeditions, and went 
out and came in at the main entrance. The 
guards were a particularly verdant body of back 
country militia, and the confusion of the parole 
system enabled us to practice ruses. In our 
present difficulty we resorted to a new expedient 
and forged a parole. The next day all three of 
us were quietly walking down the guard-line on 
the outside. At the creek, where all the camp 
came for water, we found Dorr and Byers and 
West, and caUing to one of them in the presence 
of the guard asked for blankets to bring in spruce 
boughs for beds. When the blankets came 
they contained certain haversacks, cups, and lit- 
tle indispensable articles for the road. Falling- 
back into the woods, we secured a safe hiding- 
place until after dark. Just beyond the village 
of Lexington we successfully evaded the first 
picket, being warned of its presence by the 
smoldering embers in the road. A few nights 
after this, having exposed ourselves and antici- 
pating pursuit, we pushed on until we came to 
a stream crossing the road. Up this we waded 
for some distance and secured a hiding-place on 
a neighboring hill. In the morning we looked 
283 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



out upon mounted men and dogs, at the very 
point where we had entered the stream, search- 
ing for our lost trail. We spent two days, during 
a severe storm of rain and sleet, in a farm barn 
where the slaves were so drunk on applejack 
that they had forgotten us and left us with noth- 
ing to eat but raw turnips. One night, in our 
search for provisions, we met a party of negroes 
burning charcoal who took us to their camp 
and sent out for a supply of food. While wait- 
ing a venerable "uncle" proposed to hold a 
prayer-meeting. So, under the tall trees and 
by the light of the smoldering coal-pits, the old 
man prayed long and fervently to the " bressed 
Lord and Massa Lincoln," and hearty aniens 
echoed through the woods. Besides a few small 
potatoes, one dried goat ham was all our zeal- 
ous friends could procure. The next day, hav- 
ing made our camp in the secure depths of a 
dry swamp, we lighted the only fire we allowed 
ourselves between Columbia and the mountains. 
The ham, which was almost as light as cork, 
was riddled with worm holes, and as hard as a 
petrified sponge. 

We avoided the towns, and after an endless 
variety of adventures approached the moun- 
tains, cold, hungry, ragged, and footsore. On 
the night of December 13th we were grouped 

284 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

about a guide-post, at a fork in the road, earn- 
estly contending as to which way we should 
proceed. Lieutenant Sill was for the right^ I 
was for the left, and no amount of persuasion 
could induce Lieutenant Lanison to decide the 
controversy. I yielded, and we turned to the 
right. After walking a mile in a state of gen- 
eral uncertainty we came to a low white farm- 
house standing very near to the road. It was 
now close upon midnight and the windows were 
all dark, but from a house of logs, partly be- 
hind the other, gleamed a bright light. Judg- 
ing this to be servants' quarters, tv.-o of us re- 
mained back while Lieutenant Sill made a 
cautious approach. In due time a negro ap- 
peared, advancing stealthily, and, beckoning to 
my companion and me, conducted us in the 
shadow of a hedge to a side window, through 
which we clambered into the cabin. We were 
made very comfortable in the glow of a bright 
wood fire. Sweet potatoes were already roast- 
ing in the ashes, and a tin pot of barley coffee 
was steaming on the coals. Rain and sleet had 
begun to fall, and it was decided that after hav- 
ing been warmed and refreshed we should be 
concealed in the barn until the following night. 
Accordingly we were conducted thither and 
put to bed upon a pile of corn -shucks high up 
28; 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

under the roof. Secure as this retreat seemed, 
it was deemed advisable in the morning to bur- 
row several feet down in the mow, so that the 
children, if by any chance they should climb so 
high, might romp unsuspecting over our heads. 
We could still look out through the cracks in 
the siding and get sufficient light whereby to 
study a map of the Southern States, which had 
been brought us with our breakfast. A luxuri- 
ous repast was in preparation, to be eaten at the 
quarters before starting, but a frolic being in 
progress, and a certain negro present of ques- 
tionable fidelity, the banquet was transferred 
to the barn. The great barn doors were set 
open, and the cloth was spread on the floor by 
the light of the moon. Certainly we had par- 
taken of no such substantial fare within the 
Confederacy. The central dish was a pork pie, 
flanked by savory little patties of sausage. 
There were sweet potatoes, fleecy biscuits, a 
jug of sorghum, and a pitcher of sweet milk. 
Most delicious of all was a variety of corn- 
bread, having tiny bits of fresh pork baked in 
it, like plums in a pudding. 

Filling our haversacks with the fragments, 
we took grateful leave of our sable benefactors 
and resumed our journey, retracing our steps to 
the point of disagreement of the evening before. 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

Long experience in night marching had taught 
us extreme caution. We had advanced along 
the new road but a short wa)' when we were 
startled by the barking of a house dog. Ap- 
prehending that something was moving in 
front of us, we instantly withdrew into the 
woods. We had scarcely concealed ourselves 
when two cavalrymen passed along, driving be- 
fore them a prisoner. Aware that it was high 
time to betake ourselves to the cross-roads and 
describe a wide circle around the military sta- 
tion at Pickensville, we first sought informa- 
tion. A ray of light was visible from a hut in 
the woods, and believing from its humble ap- 
pearance that it sheltered friends, my compan- 
ions lay down in concealment while I advanced 
to reconnoitre. I gained the side of the house, 
and looking through a crack in the boards saw, 
to my horror, a soldier lying on his back before 
the fire and playing with a dog. I stole back 
with redoubled care. Thoroughly alarmed by 
the dangers we had already encountered, we 
decided to abandon the roads. Near midnight 
of December i6th we passed through a wooden 
gate on a level road leading into the forest. 
Believing that the lateness of the hour would 
secure i;s from further dangers, we resolved to 
press on with all speed, when two figures with 
287 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



lighted torches came suddenly into view. 
Knowing that we were yet unseen, we turned 
into the woods and concealed ourselves behind 
separate trees at no great distance from the 
path. Soon the advancing lights revealed two 
hunters, mere lads, but having at their heels a 
pack of mongrel dogs, with which they had 
probably been pursuing the coon or the pos- 
sum. The boys would have passed unaware of 
our presence, but the dogs, scurrying along 
with their noses in the leaves, soon struck our 
trail and were instantly yelping about us. We 
had possessed ourselves of the name of the com- 
manding officer of the neighboring post at 
Pendleton, and advanced boldly, representing 
ourselves to be his soldiers. " Then where did 
you get them blue pantaloons ? ' ' they de- 
manded, exchanging glances, which showed 
they were not ignorant of our true character. 
We coolly faced them down and resumed our 
march leisurely, while the boys still lingered 
undecided. When out of sight we abandoned 
the road and fled at the top of our speed. We 
had covered a long distance through forest and 
field before we heard in our wake the faint 
yelping of the pack. Plunging into the first 
stream, we dashed for some distance along its 
bed. Emerging on the opposite bank, we sped 
288 



The Adventiues of Certain Prisoners 



on through marshy fields, skirting high hills 
and bounding down through dry watercourses, 
over shelving stones and accumulated barriers 
of driftwood ; now panting up a steep ascent, 
and now resting for a moment to rub our shoes 
with the resinous needles of the pine ; always 
within hearing of the dogs, whose fitful cries 
varied in volume in accordance with the 
broken conformation of the intervening coun- 
try. Knowing that in speed and endurance we 
were no match for our four-footed pursuers, we 
trusted to our precautions for throwing them 
off the scent, mindful that they were but an ill- 
bred kennel and the more easily to be disposed 
of Physically v/e were capable of prolonged 
exertion. Fainter and less frequent came the 
cry of the dogs, until, ceasing altogether, we 
were assured of our escape. 

At Oconee, on Sunday, December i8th, we 
met a negro well acquainted with the roads and 
passes into North Carolina, who furnished us 
information by which we travelled for two 
nights, recognizing on the second objects which 
by his direction we avoided, like the house of 
Black Bill McKinney, and going directly to 
that of friendly old Tom Handcock. The first 
of these two nights we struggled up the foot- 
hills and outlying spurs of the mountains, 
289 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



through an uninhabited waste of rolling bar- 
rens, along an old stage road, long deserted, 
and in places impassable to a saddle mule. 
Lying down before morning, high up on the 
side of the mountain, we fell asleep, to be 
awakened by thunder and lightning and to find 
torrents of hail and sleet beating upon our 
blankets. Chilled to the bone, we ventured to 
build a small fire in a secluded place. After 
dark, and before abandoning our camp, we 
gathered quantities of wood, stacking it upon 
the fire, which when we left it was a wild tower 
of flame lighting up the whole mountain side in 
the direction we had come, and seeming, in 
some sort, to atone for a long succession of 
shivering days in fireless bivouac. We fol- 
lowed the same stage road through the scatter- 
ing settlement of Casher's Valley in Jackson 
County, North Carolina. A little farther on, 
two houses, of hewn logs, with verandas and 
green blinds, just fitted the description we had 
received of the home of old Tom Handcock. 
Knocking boldly at the door of the farther one, 
we were soon in the presence of the loyal 
mountaineer. He and his wife had been sleep- 
ing on a bed spread upon the floor before the 
fire. Drawing this to one side, they heaped 
the chimney with green wood and were soon 

290 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

listening with genuine delight to the story of 
our adventures. 

After breakfast next day, Tom, with his rifle, 
led us by a back road to the house of " 'Squire 
Larkin C. Hooper," a leading loyalist, whom 
we met on the way, and together we proceeded 
to his house. Ragged and forlorn, we were 
eagerly welcomed at his home by Hooper's in- 
valid wife and daughters. For several days 
we enjoyed a hospitality given as freely to ut- 
ter strangers as if we had been relatives of the 
family. 

Here we learned of a party about to start 
through the mountains for East Tennessee, 
guided by Emanuel Headen, who lived on the 
crest of the Blue Ridge. Our friend Tom was 
to be one of the party, and other refugees were 
coming over the Georgia border, where Headen, 
better known in the settlement as " Man 
Heady," was mustering his party. It now be- 
ing near Christmas, and the 'squire's family in 
daily expectation of a relative, who was a 
captain in the Confederate army, it was deemed 
prudent for us to go on to Headen's under the 
guidance of Tom. Setting out at sunset on the 
23d of December, it was late in the evening 
when we arrived at our destination, having 
walked nine miles up the mountain trails over 
291 



ne Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



a light carpeting of snow. Pausing in front of 
a diminutive cabin, through the chinks of 
whose stone fireplace and stick chimney the 
whole interior seemed to be red hot like a fur- 
nace, our guide demanded, " Is Man Heady 
to hum?" Receiving a sharp negative in 
reply, he continued, " Well, can Tom get to 
stay all night?" At this the door flew open 
and a skinny woman appeared, her home-spun 
frock pendent with tow-headed urchins. 

" In course you can," she cried, leading the 
way into the cabin. Never have I seen so 
unique a character as this voluble, hatchet- 
faced, tireless woman. Her skin was like yellow 
parchment, and I doubt if she knew by ex- 
perience what it was to be sick or weary. She 
had built the stake-and-cap fences that divided 
the fields, and she boasted of the acres she had 
ploughed. The cabin was very small. Two 
bedsteads, with a narrow alleyway between, 
occupied half the interior. One was heaped 
with rubbish and in the other slept the whole 
family, consisting of father, mother, a daughter 
of sixteen, and two little boys. When I add 
that the room contained a massive timber loom, 
a table, a spinning wheel, and a variety of rude 
seats, it will be understood that we were 
crowded uncomfortably close to the fire. 

292 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



Shrinking back as far as possible from the blaze, 
we listened in amused wonder to the tongue of 
this seemingly untamed virago, who, neverthe- 
less, proved to be the kindest-hearted of women. 
She cursed, in her high-pitched tones, for a 
pack of fools, the men who had brought on the 
war. Roderic Norton, who lived down the 
mountain, she expressed a profane desire tu 
"stomp through the turnpike," because at 
some time he had stolen one of her hogs, 
marked, as to the ear, with " two smooth 
craps an' a slit in the left." Once only she 
had journeyed into the low country, where she 
had seen those twin marvels, steam cars and 
brick chimneys. On this occasion she had 
driven a heifer to market, making a journey of 
forty miles, walking beside her horse and wagon, 
which she took along to bring back the corn-meal 
received in payment for the animal. Charged 
by her husband to bring back the heifer bell, 
and being denied that musical instrument by 
the purchaser, it immediately assumed more 
importance to her mind than horse, wagon, and 
corn-meal. Baffled at first, she proceeded to 
the pasture in the gray of the morning, cornered 
the cow and cut off the bell, and, in her own 
picturesque language, "walked through the 
streets of Walhalla cussin'." Rising at mid-- 

293 



The A.lventiires of Certain Prisoners 

night she would fall to spinning with all her 
energy. To us, waked from sleep on the floor 
by the humming of the wheel, she seemed by 
the light of the low fire like a witch in a sun- 
bonnet, darting forward and back. 

We remained there several days, sometimes 
at the cabin and sometimes at a cavern in the 
rocks such as abound throughout the mountains, 
and which are called by the natives " rock 
houses." Many of the men at that time were 
" outliers " — that is, they camped in the moun- 
tain fastnesses, receiving their food from some 
member of the family. Some of these men, as 
now, had their copper stills in the rock houses, 
while others, more wary of the recruiting ser- 
geant, wandered from point to point, their 
only furniture a rifle and a bedquilt. On De- 
cember 29th, we were joined at the cavern by 
Lieutenant Knapp and Captain Smith, Federal 
officers, who had also made their way from 
Columbia, and by three refugees from Georgia, 
whom I remember as Old Man Tigue and the 
two Vincent boys. During the night our party 
was to start acro.ss the mountains for Tennessee. 
Tom Handcock was momentarily expected to 
join us. Our guide was busy with preparations 
for the journey. The night coming on icy 
cold, and a cutting wind driving the smoke of 

294 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

the fire into our granite house, we abandoned it 
at nine o'clock and descended to the cabin. 
Headen and his wife had gone to the mill for a 
supply of corn-meal. Although it was time for 
their return, we were in no wise alarmed by 
their absence, and formed a jovial circle about 
the roaring chimney. About midnight came a 
rap on the door. Thinking it was Tom Hand- 
cock and some of his companions, I threw it 
open with an eager " Come in, boys ! " The 
boys began to come in, stamping the snow from 
their boots and rattling their muskets on the 
floor, until the house was full, and yet others 
were on guard without and crowding the porch. 
"Man Heady" and his wife were already 
prisoners at the mill, and the house had been 
picketed for some hours awaiting the arrival of 
the other refugees, who had discovered the plot 
just in time to keep out of the toils. Marshalled 
in some semblance of military array, we were 
marched down the mountain, over the frozen 
ground, to the house of old Roderic Norton. 
The Yankee officers were sent to an upper 
room, while the refugees were guarded below, 
under the immediate eyes of the soldiery. 
Making the best of our misfortune, our original 
trio bounced promptly into a warm bed, which 
had been recently deserted by some mem- 
295 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



bers of the family, and secured a good night's 
rest. 

Lieutenant Knapp, wlio had imprudently in- 
dulged in frozen chestnuts on the mountain 
side, was attacked with violent cramps, and kept 
the household below stairs in commotion all 
night humanely endeavoring to assuage his 
agony. In the morning, although quite re- 
covered, he cunningly feigned a continuance 
oi his pains, and was let^t behind in the keep- 
ing of two guards, who having no suspicion of 
his deep designs left their guns in the house 
and went out to the spring to wash. Knapp, 
instantly on the alert, possessed himself of the 
muskets, and breaking the lock of one, by a 
powerful effort he bent the barrel of the other, 
and dashed out through the garden. His keep- 
ers, returning from the spring, shouted and 
rushed indoors only to find their disabled pieces. 
They joined our party later in the day, render- 
ing a chapfallen account of their detached ser- 
vice. 

We had but a moderate march to make to 
the headquarters of the battalion, where we 
were to spend the night. Our guards we found 
kindly disposed toward us, but bitterly up- 
braiding the refugees, whom they saluted by 
the ancient name of Tories. Lieutenant Cog- 
296 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



dill, in command of the expedition, privately 
informed us that his sympathies were entirely 
ours, but as a matter of duty he should guard 
us jealously while under his military charge. 
If we could effect our escape thereafter we had 
only to come to his mountain home and he 
would conceal us until such time as he could 
despatch us with safety over the borders. These 
mountain soldiers were mostly of two classes, 
both opposed to the war, but doing home-guard 
duty in lieu of sterner service in the field. 
Numbers were of the outlier class, who, wearied 
of continual hiding in the laurel brakes, had 
embraced this service as a compromise. Many 
were deserters, some of whom had coolly set at 
defiance the terms of their furloughs, while 
others had abandoned the camps in Virginia, 
and, versed in mountain craft, had made their 
way along the Blue Ridge and put in a heroic 
appearance in their native valleys. 

That night we arrived at a farm-house near 
the river, where we found Major Parker, com- 
manding the battalion, with a small detach- 
ment, billeted upon the family. The farmer 
was a gray-haired old loyalist, whom I shall 
always remember, leaning on his staff in the 
middle of the kitchen, barred out from his 
place in the chimney-corner by the noisy circle 
297 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

of his unbidden guests. Major Parker was a 
brisk little man, clad in brindle jeans of an 
ancient cut, resplendent with brass buttons. 
Two small piercing eyes, deep-set beside a 
hawk's-beak nose, twinkled from under the rim 
of his brown straw hat, whose crown was de- 
fiantly surmounted by a cock's feather. But 
he was exceedingly jolly \v'ithal and welcomed 
the Yankees with pompous good - humor, de- 
spatching a sergeant for a jug of apple-jack, 
which was doubtless as inexpensive to the ma- 
jor as his other hospitality. Having been a 
prisoner at Chicago, he prided himself on his 
knowledge of dungeon etiquette and the mil- 
itary courtesies due to our rank. 

We were awakened in the morning by high- 
pitched voices in the room below. Lieutenant 
Sill and I had passed the night in neighboring 
caverns of the same miraculous feather-bed. 
We recognized the voice of the major, inform- 
ing some culprit that he had just ten minutes 
to live, and that if lie wished to send any dying 
message to his wife or children then and there 
was his last opportunity ; and then followed 
the tramping of the guards as they retired from 
his presence with their victim. Hastily dress- 
ing, we hurried down to find what was the 
matter. We were welcomed with a cheery 
298 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

good-morning from the major, who seemed to 
be in the sunniest of spirits. No sign of com- 
motion was visible. " Step out to the branch, 
gentlemen ; j^our parole of honor is sufficient ; 
you'll find towels — been a prisoner myself." 
And he restrained by a sign the sentinel who 
would have accompanied us. At the branch, 
in the yard, we found the other refugees trem- 
bling for their fate, and learned that Headen 
had gone to the orchard in the charge of a file 
of soldiers with a rope. While we were discuss- 
ing the situation and endeavoring to calm the 
apprehensions of the Georgians the executioners 
returned from the orchard, our guide marching 
in advance and looking none the worse for the 
rough handling he had undergone. The brave 
fellow had confided his last message and been 
thrice drawn up toward the branch of an apple 
tree, and as many times lowered for the infor- 
mation it was supposed he would give. No- 
thing was learned, and it is probable he had no 
secrets to disclose or conceal. 

Lieutenant Cogdill, with two soldiers, was 
detailed to conduct us to Quallatown, a Che- 
rokee station at the foot of the Great Smoky 
Mountains. Two horses were allotted to the 
guard, and we set out in military order, the re- 
fugees two and two in advance, Headen and 

299 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



Old Man Tigue lashed together by the wrists, 
and the rear brought up by the troopers on 
horseback. It was the last day of the year, 
and although a winter morning, the rare moun- 
tain air was as soft as spring. We struck the 
banks of the Tuckasegee directly opposite to a 
feathery waterfall, which, leaping over a crag 
of the opposite cliff, was dissipated in a glitter- 
ing sheet of spray before reaching the tops of 
the trees below. As the morning advanced we 
fell into a more negligent order of marching. 
The beautiful river, a wide, swift current, flow- 
ing smoothly between thickly wooded banks, 
swept by on our left, and on the right wild, 
uninhabited mountains closed in the road. 
The two Vincents were strolling along far in 
advance. Some distance behind them were 
Headen and Tigue ; the remainder of us fol- 
lowing in a general group, Sill mounted beside 
one of the guards. Advancing in this order, 
a cry from the front broke on the stillness of 
the woods, and we beheld Old Man Tigue 
gesticulating wildly in the centre of the road 
and screaming, ''He 's gone! He 's gone! 
Catch him ! " Sure enough the old man was 
alone, the fragment of the parted strap dan- 
gling from his outstretched wrist. The guard, 
who was mounted, dashed off in pursuit, fol- 

300 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



lowed by the lieutenant on foot, but both soon 

returned, giving over the hopeless chase. 
Thoroughly frightened by the events of the 
morning, Headen ^ had watched his oppor- 
tunity to make good his escape, and as we after- 
ward learned, joined by Knapp and Tom Hand- 
cock, he conducted a party safely to Tennessee. 
At Webster, the court town of Jackson 
County, we were quartered for the night in the 
jail, but accompanied Lieutenant Cogdill to a 
venison breakfast at the parsonage with Mrs. 
Harris and her daughter, who had called on us 
the evening before. Snow had fallen during 
the night, and when we continued our march it 
was with the half-frozen slush crushing in and 
out, at every step, through our broken shoes. 
Before the close of this dreary New Year's day 
we came upon the scene of one of those wild 
tragedies which are still of too frequent occur- 
rence in those remote regions, isolated from the 
strong arm of the law. Our road led down and 
around the mountain side, which on our right 
was a barren, rocky waste, sloping gradually up 

' A short time ago the writer received the following 
letter: " Casher's Valley, May 28, 1890. Old Manuel 
Headen and wife are living, but separated. Julia Ann is 
living with her mother. The old lady is blind. Old man 
Norton (Roderic), to whose house you were taken as 
prisoner, has been dead for years. Old Tom Handcock 
is dead.— W. R. Hooper." 

301 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



from the inner curve of the arc we were describ- 
ing. From this direction arose a low wailing 
sound, and a little farther on we came in view 
of a dismal group of men, women, and mules. 
In the centre of the gathering lay the lifeless 
remains of a father and his two sons ; seated 
upon the ground, swaying and weeping over 
their dead, were the mother and wives of the 
young men. A burial party, armed with spades 
and picks, waited by their mules, while at a re- 
spectful distance from the mourners stood a cir- 
cle of neighbors and passers-by, some gazing in 
silent sympathy, and others not hesitating to 
express a quiet approval of the shocking trag- 
edy. Between two families, the Hoopers and 
the Watsons, a bitter feud had long existed, and 
from time to time men of each clan had fallen 
by the rifles of the other. The Hoopers were 
loyal Union men, and if the Watsons yielded 
any loyalty it was to the State of North Caro- 
lina. On one occasion shortly before the final 
tragedy, when one of the young Hoopers was 
sitting quietly in his door, a light puff of smoke 
rose from the bushes and a rifle ball ploughed 
through his leg. The Hoopers resolved to 
begin the new year by wiping out their ene- 
mies, root and branch. Before light they had 
surrounded the log cabin of the Watsons and 
302 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

secured all the male inmates, except one who, 
wounded, escaped through a window. The 
latter afterward executed a singular revenge, by 
killing and skinning the dog of his enemies and 
elevating the carcass on a pole in front of their 
house. 

After a brief stay at Quallatown we set out for 
Asheville, leaving behind our old and friendly 
guard. Besides the soldiers who now had us in 
charge, a Cherokee Indian was allotted to each 
prisoner, with instructions to keep his man con- 
stantly in view. To travel with an armed In- 
dian, sullen and silent, trotting at your heels 
like a dog, with very explicit instructions to 
blow out your brains at the first attempt to es- 
cape, is neither cheerful nor ornamental, and 
we were a sorry-looking party plodding silently 
along the road. Detachments of prisoners were 
frequently passed over this route, and regular 
stopping-places were established for the nights. 
It was growing dusk when we arrived at the first 
cantonment, which was the wing of a great bar- 
ren farm-house owned by Colonel Bryson. The 
place was already occupied by a party of refu- 
gees, and we were directed to a barn in the field 
beyond. We had brought with us uncooked 
rations, and while two of the soldiers went into 
the house for cooking utensils, the rest of the 

303 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



party, including the Indians, were leaning in a 
line upon the dooryard fence; Sill and Lamson 
were at the end of the line, where the fence 
cornered with a hedge. Presently the two 
soldiers reappeared, one of them with an iron 
pot in which to cook our meat, and the other 
swinging in his hand a burning brand. In the 
wake of these guides we followed down to the 
barn, and had already started a fire when word 
came from the house that for fear of rain we had 
best return to the corn-barn. It was not until 
we were again in the road that I noticed the ab- 
sence of Sill and Lamson. I hastened to Smith 
and confided the good news. The fugitives 
were missed almost simultaneously by the guards, 
who first beat up the vicinity of the barn, and 
then, after securing the remainder of us in a 
corn - crib, sent out the Indians in pursuit. 
Faithful dogs, as these Cherokees had shown 
themselves during the day, they proved but 
poor hunters when the game was in the bush, 
and soon returned, giving over the chase. Half 
an hour later they were all back in camp, bak- 
ing their hoecake in genuine aboriginal fashion, 
flattened on the surface of a board and inclined 
to the heat of the fire.' 

1 Sill and Lamson reached Loudon, Tenn., in February. 
A few days after their escape from the Indian guard they 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

That I was eager to follow goes without say- 
ing, but our keepers had learned our slippery 
character. All the way to Asheville, day and 
night, we were watched with sleepless vigilance. 
There we gave our parole. Smith and I, and se- 
cured thereby comfortable quarters in the court- 
house, with freedom to stroll about the town. 
Old Man Tigue and the Vincents were com- 
mitted to the county jail. We were there a 
week, part of my spare time being employed in 
helping a Confederate company officer make out 
a correct pay-roll. 

When our diminished ranks had been recruit- 
ed by four more officers from Columbia, who 
had been captured near the frozen summit of 
the Great Smoky Mountains, we were started 
on a journey of sixty miles to Greenville in 
South Carolina. The night before our arrival 
we were quartered at a large farm-house. The 

arrived at the house of " Shooting John Brown," who con- 
fided them to the care of the young Hoopers and a party 
of their outlying companions. From a roclcy cHff over- 
looking the valley of the Tuckasegee they could look down 
on the river roads dotted with the sheriff's posse in pursuit 
of the Hoopers. So near were they that they could distin- 
guish a relative of the Watsons leading the sheriff's party. 
One of the Hooper boys, with characteristic recklessness 
and to the consternation of the others, stood boldly out 
on a great rock in plain sight of his pursuers (if they had 
chanced to look up), half resolved to try his rifle at the last 
of the Watsons. 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



prisoners, together with the privates of the 
guard, were allotted a comfortable room, which 
contained, however, but a single bed. The 
officer in charge had retired to enjoy the hospi- 
tality of the family. A flock of enormous white 
pullets were roosting in the yard. Procuring 
an iron kettle from the servants, who looked 
with grinning approval upon all forms of chicken 
stealing, we sallied forth to the capture. Twist- 
ing the precious necks of half a dozen, we left 
them to die in the grass while we pierced the 
side of a sweet-potato mound. Loaded with 
our booty we retreated to the house undis- 
covered, and spent the night in cooking in one 
pot instead of sleeping in one bed. The fowls 
were skinned instead of plucked, and, vandals 
that we were, dressed on the backs of the pict- 
ure frames, taken down from the walls. 

At Greenville we were lodged in the county 
jail to await the reconstruction of railway bridges, 
when we were to be transported to Columbia. 
The jail was a stone structure, two stories in 
height, with halls through the centre on both 
floors and square rooms on each side. The 
lock was turned on our little party of six in one 
of these upper rooms, having two grated win- 
dows looking down on the walk. Through the 
door which opened on the hall a square hole 
306 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



was cut as high as one's face and large enough 
to admit the passage of a plate. Aside from 
the rigor of our confinement we were treated 
with marked kindness. We had scarcely walked 
about our dungeon before the jailer's daughters 
were at the door with their autograph albums. 
In a few days we were playing draughts and 
reading Bulwer, while the girls, without, were 
preparing oiu: food and knitting for us warm 
new stockings. Notwithstanding all these at- 
tentions we were ungratefully discontented. At 
the end of the first week we were joined by 
seven enlisted men, Ohio boys, who like our- 
selves had been found at large in the mountains. 
From one of these new arrivals we procured a 
case-knife and a gun screw-driver. Down on 
the hearth before the fire the screw-driver was 
placed on the thick edge of the knife, and be- 
labored with a beef-bone until a few inches of 
its back were converted into a rude saw. The 
grate in the window was formed of cast-iron 
bars, passing perpendicularly through wrought- 
iron plates, bedded in the stone jambs. If one 
of these perpendicular bars, an inch and a half 
square, could be cut through, the plates might 
be easily bent so as to permit the egress of a 
man. With this end in view we cautiously be- 
gan operations. Outside of the bars a piece of 

307 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



carpet had been stretched to keep out the raw 
wind, and behind this we worked with safety. 
An hour's toil produced but a few feathery fil- 
ings on the horizontal plate, but many hands 
make light work, and steadily the cut grew 
deeper. We recalled the adventures of Claude 
Duval, Dick Turpin, and Sixteen-string Jack, 
and sawed away. During the available hours 
of three days and throughout one entire night 
the blade of steel was worrying, rasping, eating 
the iron bar. At last the grosser yielded to the 
temper and persistence of the finer metal. It 
was Saturday night when the toilsome cut was 
completed, and preparations were already under 
way for a speedy departure. The jail had al- 
ways been regarded as too secure to require a 
military guard, although soldiers were quartered 
in the town ; besides, the night was so cold that 
a crust had formed on the snow, and both cit- 
izens and soldiers, unused to such extreme 
weather, would be likely to remain indoors. 
For greater secrecy of movement, we divided 
into small parties, aiming to traverse different 
roads. I was to go with my former companion, 
Captain Smith. Lots were cast to determine 
the order of our going. First exit was allotted 
to four of the Ohio soldiers. Made fast to the 
grating outside were a bit of rope and strip of 
;o8 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

blankets, along which to descend. Our room 
was immediately over that of the jailer and his 
sleeping family, and beneath our opening was a 
window, which each man must pass in his de- 
scent. At eleven o'clock the exodus began. 
The first man was passed through the bars amid 
a suppressed buzz of whispered cautions. His 
boots were handed after him in a haversack. 
The rest of us, pressing our faces to the frosty 
grating, listened breathlessly for the success of 
the movement we could no longer see. Sud- 
denly there was a crash, and in the midst of 
mutterings of anger we snatched in the rag lad- 
der and restored the piece of carpeting to its 
place outside the bars. Our pioneer had hurt 
his hand against the rough stones, and, flound- 
ering in mid-air, had dashed his leg through 
sash and glass of the window below. We could 
see nothing of his further movements, but soon 
discovered the jailer standing in the door, look- 
ing up and down the street, seemingly in the 
dark as to where the crash came from. At 
last, wearied and worried and disappointed, 
we lay down in our l;lankets upon the hard 
floor. 

At daylight we were awakened by the voice 
of Miss Emma at the hole in the door, " Who 
got out last night?" ''Welty." "Well, you 

309 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

was fools you didn't all go ; pap wouldn't 'a' 
stopped you. If you'll keep the break con- 
cealed until night we'll let you all out." The 
secret of the extreme kindness of our keepers 
was explained. The jailer, a loyalist, retained 
his position as a civil detail, thus protecting 
himself and sons from conscription. Welty had 
been taken in the night before, his bruises had 
been anointed, and he had been provisioned 
for the journey. 

We spent the day repairing our clothing and 
preparing for the road. My long-heeled cow- 
hides, " wife's shoes," for which I had ex- 
changed a uniform waistcoat with a cotton- 
wooled old darky on the banks of the Saluda, 
were about parting soles from uppers, and I 
kept the twain together by winding my feet 
with stout cords. At supper an extra ration 
was given us. As soon as it was dark the old 
jailer appeared among us and gave us a minute 
description of the different roads leading west 
into the mountains, warning us of certain dan- 
gers. At eleven o'clock Miss Emma came with 
the great keys, and we followed her, in single 
file, down the stairs and out into the back yard 
of the jail. From the broken gratings in front, 
the bit of rope and strips of blanket were left 
dangling in the wind. 

310 



The AiiveuliDes of Certain Prisoners 



We made short work of leave-taking, Captain 
Smith and I separating immediately from the 
rest, and pushing hurriedly out of the sleeping 
town, by back streets, into the bitter cold of the 
country roads. We stopped once to warm at 
the pits of some negro charcoal burjiers, and 
before day dawned had travelled sixteen miles. 
We found a sheltered nook on the side of the 
mountain open to the sun, where Ave made a 
bed of dry leaves and remained for the day. 
At night we set out again, due west by the 
stars, but before we had gone far my companion, 
who claimed to know something of the country, 
insisted upon going to the left, and within a 
mile turned into another left-hand road. I 
protested, claiming that this course was leading 
us back. While we were yet contending we 
came to a bridgeless creek whose dark waters 
barred our progress, and at the same moment, 
as if induced by the thought of the fording, the 
captain was seized with rheumatic pains in his 
knees, so that he walked with difficulty. 'We 
had just passed a house where lights were still 
showing, and to this we decided to return, hop- 
ing at least to find shelter for Smith. Leaving 
him at the gate, I went to a side porch and 
knocked at the door, which was opened by a 
woman who proved to be friendly to our cause, 

3" 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

her husband being in the rebel army much 
against his will. We were soon seated to the 
right and left of her fireplace. Blazing pine- 
knots brilliantly lighted the room, and a num- 
ber of beds lined the walls. A trundle-bed be- 
fore the fire was occupied by a very old woman 
who was feebly moaning with rheumatism. 
Our hostess shouted into the old lady's ear, 
"Granny, them's Yankees." "'Be they!" 
said she, peering at us with her poor old eyes. 
"Be ye sellin' tablecloths?" When it was 
explained that we were just from the war, she 
demanded, in an absent way, to know if we were 
Britishers. We slept in one of the comfortable 
beds, and as a measure of prudence passed the 
day in the woods, leaving at nightfall with 
well-filled haversacks. Captain Smith was again 
the victim of his rheumatism, and directing me 
to his friends at Caesar's Head, where I was to 
wait for him until Monday (it then being Tues- 
day), he returned to the house, little thinking 
that we were separating forever. 

I travelled very rapidly all night, hoping to 
make the whole distance, but day was breaking 
when I reached the head waters of the Saluda. 
Following up the stream I found a dam on which 
I crossed, and although the sun was rising and 
the voices of children mingled with the lowing 

31- 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



of cattle in the frosty air, I ran across the 
fields and gained a secure hiding-place on the 
side of the mountain. It was a long, solitary 
day, and glad was I when it grew sufficiently 
dark to turn the little settlement and get into 
the main road up the mountain. It was six 
zigzag miles to the top, the road turning on log 
abutments, well anchored with stones, and not 
a habitation on the way until I should reach 
Bishop's house, on the crest of the divide. 
Half way up I paused before a big summer ho- 
tel, looming up in the woods like the ghost of a 
deserted factory, its broken windov.'s and rot- 
ting gateways redoubling the solitude of the 
bleak mountain side. Shortly before reaching 
Bishop's, " wife's shoes " became quite unman- 
ageable. One had climbed up my leg half way 
to the knee, and I knocked at the door with 
the wreck of the other in my hand. My visit 
had been preceded but a day by a squad of part- 
isan raiders, who had carried away the bedding 
and driven off the cattle of my new friends, and 
for this reason the most generous hospitality 
could offer no better couch than the hard floor. 
Stretched thereon in close proximity to the dy- 
ing fire, the cold air coming up through the 
wide cracks between the hewn planks seemed to 
be cutting me in sections as with icy saws, so 

313 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

that I was forced to establish myself lengthwise 
of a broad puncheon at the side of the room 
and under the table. 

In this family " the gray mare was the better 
horse," and poor Bishop, an inoffensive man, 
and a cripple withal, was wedded to a regular 
Xantippe. It was evident that unpleasant 
thoughts were dominant in the woman's mind 
as she proceeded sullenly and vigorously with 
preparations for breakfast. The bitter bread of 
charity was being prepared with a vengeance 
for the unwelcome guest. Premonitions of the 
coming storm flashed now and then in light- 
ning cuffs on the ears of the children, or crashed 
venomously among the pottery in the fireplace. 
At last the repast was spread, the table still 
standing against the wall, as is the custom 
among mountain housewives. The good-nat- 
ured husband now advanced cheerfully to lend 
a hand in removing it into the middle of the 
room. It was when one of the table legs over- 
turned the swill-pail that the long pent-up 
storm burst in a torrent of invective. The 
prospect of spending several days here was a 
very gloomy outlook, and the relief was great 
when it was proposed to pay a visit to Neighbor 
Case, whose house was in the nearest valley, 
and with whose sons Captain Smith had lain 

314 



The AJveiitnres of Certain Prisoners 

in concealment for some weeks on a former vis- 
it to the mountains. I was curious to see his 
sons, who were famous outliers. From safe 
cover they delighted to pick off a recruiting of- 
ficer or a tax-in-kind collector, or tumble out 
of their saddles the last drivers of a wagon train. 
These lively young men had been in unusual 
demand of late and their hiding-place was not 
known even to the faithful, so I was condemned 
to the society of an outlier of a less picturesque 
variety. Pink Bishop was a blacksmith, and 
just the man to forge me a set of shoes from the 
leather Neighbor Case had already provided. 
The little still-shed, concealed from the road 
only by a low hill, was considered an unsafe 
harbor, on account of a fresh fall of snow with 
its sensibility to tell-tale impressions. So we 
set up our shoe factory in a deserted cabin, well 
back on the mountain and just astride of that 
imaginary line which divides the Carolinas. 
From the fireplace we dug away the cornstalks, 
heaping the displaced bundles against broken 
windows and windy cracks, and otherwise se- 
cured our retreat against irost and enemies. 
Then ensued three days of primitive shoemak- 
ing. As may be inferred, the shoes made no 
pretension to style. I sewed the short seams at 
the sides and split the pegs from a section of 

315 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



seasoned maple. Rudely constructed as these 
shoes were they bore their wearer triumphantly 
into the promised land. 

I restrained my eagerness to be going until 
Monday night, the time agreed upon, when, my 
disabled companion not putting in an appear- 
ance, I set out for my old friend's in Casher's 
Valley. I got safely over a long wooden bridge 
within half a mile of a garrisoned town. I left 
the road, and turned, as I believed, away from 
the town, but I was absolutely lost in the dark- 
ness of a snow-storm, and forced to seek counsel 
as well as shelter, in this plight I pressed on 
toward a light, glimmering faintly through the 
blinding snow. It led me into the shelter of the 
porch to a small brown house, cut deeply be- 
neath the low eaves and protected at the sides 
by flanking bedrooms. My knock was answered 
by a girlish voice, and from the ensuing parley, 
through the closed door, I learned that she was 
the daughter of a Baptist exhorter, and that 
she was alone in the house, her brother away at 
the village, and her father, having preached the 
day before at some distance, was not expected 
home until the next morning. Reassured by 
my civil-toned inquiries about the road, she 
unfastened the door and came out to the porch, 
where she proceeded to instruct me how to go 
316 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



on, which was just the thing I least desired to 
do. By this time I had discovered the political 
complexion of the family, and, making myself 
known, was instantly invited in, with the as- 
surance that her father would be gravely dis- 
pleased if she permitted me to go on before he 
returned. I had interrupted my little benefac- 
tress in the act of writing a letter, on a sheet of 
foolscap, which lay on an old-fashioned stand 
in one corner of the room beside the ink-bottle 
and the candlestick. In the diagonal corner 
stood a tall bookcase, the crowded volumes 
nestling lovingly behind the glass doors — the 
only collection of the sort that I saw at any 
time in the mountains. A feather-bed was 
spread upon the floor, the head raised by means 
of a turned-down chair, and here I was repos- 
ing comfortably when the brother arrived. It 
was late in the forenoon when the minister 
reached home, his rickety wagon creaking 
through the snow, and drawn at a .snail's pace 
by a long-furred, knock-kneed horse. The tall 
but not very clerical figure was wrapped in a 
shawl and swathed round the throat with many 
turns of a woollen tippet. The daughter ran 
out with eagerness to greet her father and tell 
of the wonderful arrival. I was received with 
genuine delight. It was the enthusiasm of a 

Z^7 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



patriot, eager to find a sympathetic ear for his 
long-repressed views. ^ 

When night came and no entreaties could 
j>revail to detain me over another day, the 
minister conducted me some distance in per- 
son, passing me on with ample directions to 
another exhorter, who was located for that 
night at the house of a miller who kept a fero- 
cious dog. I came first to the pond and then 
to the mill, and got into the house without en- 
countering the dog. Aware of the necessity of 
arriving before bedtime, I had made such 
speed as to find the miller's family still linger- 
ing about the fireplace with preacher number 
two seated in the lay circle. That night I 
slept with the parson, who sat up in bed in the 
morning, and after disencumbering himself of 
a striped extinguisher nightcap electrified the 

'The Rev. James H. Duckworth, now postmaster of 
Brevard, Transylvania County, North Carohna, and in 
1868 member of the State Constitutional Convention, in his 
letter of June 24, 1890, says: " I have not forgotten those 
things of which you speak. I can almost see you (even 
in imagination) standing at the fire when I drove up to the 
gate and went into the house and asked you, ' Have I 
ever seen you before ? ' Just then I observed your uniform. 
' Oh, yes,' said I ; 'I know who it is now.' . . . This 
daughter of whom you speak married about a year after, 
and is living in Morgantown, North Carolina, about one 
hundred miles from here. Hattie (for that is her name) 
is a pious, religious woman. " 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

other sleepers by announcing that this was the 
first time he had ever slept with a Yankee. 
After breakfast the parson, armed with staff 
and scrip, signified his purpose to walk with 
me during the day, as it was no longer danger- 
ous to move by daylight. We must have been 
travelling the regular Baptist road, for we 
lodged that night at the house of another lay 
brother. The minister continued with me a 
few miles in the morning, intending to put me 
in the company of a man who was going 
toward Casher's Valley on a hunting expedi- 
tion. When we reached his house, however, 
the hunter had gone ; so, after parting with 
my guide, I set forward through the woods, 
following the tracks of the hunter's horse. The 
shoe-prints were sometimes plainly impressed 
in the snow, and again for long distances over 
dry leaves and bare ground, but an occasional 
trace could be found. It was past noon when 
I arrived at the house where the hunters were 
assembled. Quite a number of men were 
gathered in and about the porch, just returned 
from the chase. Blinded by the snow over 
which I had been walking in the glare of the 
sun, I blundered up the steps, inquiring with- 
out much tact for the rider who had preceded 
mc. and was no little alarmed at receiving a 

319 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

rude and gruff reception. I continued in sus- 
pense for some time until my man found an 
opportunity to inform me that tliere were sus- 
picious persons present, tlius accounting for his 
unexpected manner. The exj^jlanation was 
made at a combination meal, serving for both 
dinner and supper, and consisting exclusively 
of beans. I set out at twilight to make a walk 
of thirteen miles to the house of our old friend 
Esquire Hooper. Eager for the cordial wel- 
come which I knew awaited me, and nerved by 
the frosty air, I sped over the level wood-road, 
much of the way running instead of walking. 
Three times I came upon bends of the same 
broad rivulet. Taking off my shoes and stock- 
ings and rolling up my trousers above my 
knees, I tried the first passage. Flakes of 
broken ice were eddying against the banks, 
and before gaining the middle of the stream 
my feet and ankles ached with the cold, the 
sharp pain increasing at every step until I 
threw my blanket on the opposite bank and 
springing upon it wrapped my feet in its dry 
folds. Rising a little knoll soon after making 
the third ford, I came suddenly upon the fa- 
miliar stopping-place of my former journey. 
It was scarcely more than nine o'clock, and 
the little hardships of the journey from Caesar's 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

Head seemed but a cheap outlay for the joy 
of the meeting with friends so interested in the 
varied fortunes of myself and my late compan- 
ions. Together we rejoiced at the escape of 
Sill and Lamson, and made merry over the vi- 
cissitudes of my checkered career. Here I 
first learned of the safe arrival in Tennessee of 
Knapp, Man Heady, and Old Tom Handcock. 
After a day's rest I climbed the mountains 
to the Headen cabin, now presided over by the 
heroine of the heifer bell in the absence of her 
fugitive husband. Saddling her horse, she 
took me the next evening to join a lad who 
was about starting for Shooting Creek. Young 
Green was awaiting my arrival, and after a 
brief delay we were off on a journey of some- 
thing like sixty miles ; the journey, however, 
was pushed to a successful termination by the 
help of information gleaned by the way. It 
was at the close of the last night's march, 
which had been long and uneventful, except 
that we had surmounted no fewer than three 
snow - capped ridges, that my blacksmith's 
shoes, soaked to a pulp by the wet snow, gave 
out altogether. On the top of the last ridge I 
found myself panting in the yellow light of the 
rising sun, the sad wrecks of my two shoes 
dangling from my hands, a wilderness of beauty 

321 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



spread out before me, and a sparkling field of 
frosty forms beneath my tingling feet. Stretch- 
ing far into the west toward the open country 
of East Tennessee was the limitless wilder- 
ness of mountains drawn like mighty furrows 
across the toilsome way, the pale blue of the 
uttermost ridges fading into an imperceptible 
union with the sky. A log house was in sight 
down in the valley, a perpendicular column of 
smoke rising from its single chimney. Toward 
this we picked our way, I in my stocking feet, 
and my boy guide confidently predicting that 
we should find the required cobbler. Of course 
we found him in a country where every family 
makes its own shoes as much as its own bread, 
and he was ready to serve the traveller without 
pay. Notwithstanding our night's work, we 
tarried no longer than for the necessary repairs, 
and just before sunset we looked down upon 
the scattering settlement of Shooting Creek. 
Standing on the bleak brow of " Chunky 
Gall " Mountain, my guide recognized the 
first familiar object on the trip, which was the 
roof of his uncle's house. At Shooting Creek 
I was the guest of the Widow Kitchen, whose 
house v/as the principal one in the settlement 
and whose estate boasted two slaves. The 
husband had fallen by an anonymous bullet 

322 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



while salting his cattle on the mountain in an 
early year of the war. 

On the day following my arrival I was con- 
ducted over a ridge to another creek, where I 
met two professional guides, Quince Edmon- 
ston and Mack Hooper. As I came upon the 
pair parting a thicket of laurel, with their long 
rifles at a shoulder, I instantly recognized the 
coat of the latter as the snuff-colored sack in 
which I had last seen Lieutenant Lamson, It 
had been given to the man at Chattanooga, 
where these same guides had conducted my 
former companions in safety a month before. 
Quince Edmonston, the elder, had led nu- 
merous parties of Yankee officers over the Wa- 
cheesa trail for a consideration of a hundred 
dollars, pledged to be paid by each officer at 
Chattanooga or Nashville. 

Two other officers were concealed near by, 
and a number of refugees, awaiting a convoy, 
and an arrangement was rapidly made with the 
guides. The swollen condition of the Valley 
River made it necessary to remain for several 
days at Shooting Creek before setting out. 
Mack and I were staying at the house of Mrs. 
Kitchen. It was on the afternoon of a mem- 
orable Friday, the rain still falling in torrents 
without, that I sat before the fire poring over 

3-3 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

a small Sunday-school book ; the only printed 
book in the house, if not in the settlement. 
Mack Hooper was sitting by the door. At- 
tracted by a rustling sound in his direction, I 
looked up just in time to see his heels disap- 
pearing under the nearest bed. Leaping to my 
feet with an instinctive impulse to do likewise, 
I was confronted in the doorway by a stalwart 
Confederate officer fully uniformed and armed. 
Behind him was his quartermaster sergeant. 
This was a Government party collecting the 
tax-in-kind, which at that time throughout the 
Confederacy was the tenth part of all crops and 
other farm productions. It was an ugly sur- 
prise. Seeing no escape, I ventured a remark 
on the weather ; only a stare in reply. A plan 
of escape flashed through my mind like an in- 
spiration. I seated myself quietly, and for an 
instant bent my eyes upon the printed pages. 
The two soldiers had advanced to the corner 
of the chimney nearest the door, inquiring for 
the head of the family and keeping their eyes 
riveted on my hostile uniform. At this junc- 
ture I was seized with a severe fit of coughing. 
With one hand upon my chest, I walked slowly 
past the men, and laid my carefully opened 
book face down upon a chest. With another 
step or two I was in the porch, and bounding 

3^4 



The Aifventiires of Certain Prisoners 

into the kitchen I sprang out through a window 
already opened by the women for my exit. 
Away I sped bareheaded through the pelting 
rain, now crashing through thick underbrush, 
and now to my waist in swollen streams, plung- 
ing on and on, only mindful to select a course 
that would baffle horsemen in pursuit. After 
some miles of running I took cover behind a 
stack, within view of the road which Mack 
must take in retreating to the other settlement ; 
and sure enough here he was, coming down the 
road with my cap and haversack, which Avas 
already loaded for the western journey. Mack 
had remained undiscovered under the bed, an 
interested listener to the conversation that en- 
sued. The officer had been assured that I was 
a friendly scout ; but convinced of the contrary 
by my flight, he had departed swearing he 
would capture that Yankee before morning if 
he had to search the whole settlement. So 
alarmed were we for our safety that we crossed 
that night into a third valley and slept in the 
loft of a horse-barn. 

On Sunday our expedition assembled on a 
hillside overlooking Shooting Creek, where our 
friends in the secret of the movement came up 
to bid us adieu. With guides we were a party 
of thirteen or fourteen, but only three of us 

325 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

officers who were to pay for our safe conduct. 
Each man carried his supply of bread and meat 
and bedding. Some were wrapped in faded 
bedquilts and some in tattered army blankets ; 
nearly all wore ragged clothes, broken shoes, 
and had unkempt beards. We arrived upon a 
mountain side overlooking the settlement of 
Peach Tree, and were awaiting the friendly 
shades of night under which to descend to the 
house of the man who was to put us across 
Valley River. Premature darkness was ac- 
companied with torrents of rain, through which 
we followed our now uncertain guides. At last 
the light of the cabin we were seeking gleamed 
humidly through the trees. Most of the family 
fled into the outhouses at our approach, some 
of them not reappearing until we were disposed 
for sleep in a half-circle before the fire. The 
last arrival were two tall women in homespun 
dresses and calico sun-bonnets. They slid 
timidly in at the door, with averted faces, and 
then with a rush and a bounce covered them- 
selves out of sight in a bed, where they had 
probably been sleeping in the same clothing 
when we approached the house. Here we 
learned that a cavalcade of four hundred Texan 
Rangers had advanced into Tennessee by the 
roads on the day before. Our guides, familiar 

326 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 

with the movements of these dreaded troopers, 
calculated that with the day's delay enforced 
by the state of the river a blow would have 
been struck and the marauders would be in full 
retreat before we should arrive on the ground. 
We passed that day concealed in a stable, and 
as soon as it was sufficiently dark we proceeded 
in a body to the bank of the river attended by 
a man and a horse. The stream was narrow, 
but the current was full and swift. The horse 
breasted the flood with difficulty, but he bore 
us all across one at a time, seated behind the 
farmer. 

We had now left behind us the last settle- 
ment, and before us lay only wild and unin- 
habited mountains. The trail we travelled was 
an Indian path extending for nearly seventy 
miles through an uninhabited wilderness. In- 
stead of crossing the ridges it follows the trend 
of the range, winding for the most part along 
the crests of the divides. The occasional trav- 
eller having once mounted to its level pursues 
his solitary way with little climbing. 

Early in the morning of the fourth day our 
little party was assembled upon the last moun- 
tain overlooking the open country of East 
Tennessee. Some of us had been wandering 
in the mountains for the whole winter. We 

327 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



were returning to a half-forgotten world of 
farms and fences, roads and railways. Below 
us stretched the Tellico River away toward 
the line of towns marking the course of the 
Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. One of 
the guides who had ventured down to the 
nearest house returned with information that 
the four hundred Texan Rangers had burned 
the depot at Philadelphia Station the day be- 
fore, but were now thought to be out of the 
country. We could see the distant smoke aris- 
ing from the ruins. Where the river flowed 
out of the mountains were extensive iron- 
works, the property of a loyal citizen, and in 
front of his house we halted for consultation. 
He regretted that we had shown ourselves so 
soon, as the rear guard of the marauders had 
passed the night within siglit of where we now 
stood. Our nearest pickets were at Loudon, 
thirty miles distant on the railway, and for 
this station we were advised to make all speed. 
For half a mile the road ran along the bank 
of the river and then turned around a wooded 
bluff to the right. Opposite to this bluff and 
accessible by a shallow ford was another hill, 
where it was feared that some of the Rangers 
were still lingering about their camp. As we 
came to the turn in the road our company %vas 

328 



The Adventures of Certain Prisoners 



walking rapidly in Indian file, guide Edmon- 
ston and I at the front. Coming around the 
bluff from the opposite direction was a coun- 
tryman mounted on a powerful gray mare. 
His overcoat was army blue, but he wore a 
bristling fur cap, and his rifle was slung on his 
back. At sight of us he turned in his saddle 
to shout to some one behind, and bringing his 
gun to bear came tearing and swearing down 
the road, spattering the gravel under the big 
hoofs of the gray. Close at his heels rode two 
officers in Confederate gray uniforms, and a 
motley crowd of riders closed up the road be- 
hind. In an instant the guide and I were sur- 
rounded, the whole cavalcade levelling their 
guns at the thicket and calling on our com- 
panions to halt, who could be plainly heard 
crashing through the bushes. The dress of 
but few of our captors could be seen, nearly 
all being covered with rubber talmas, but their 
mounts, including mules as well as horses, were 
equipped with every variety of bridle and sad- 
dle to be imagined. I knew at a glance that 
this was no body of our cavalry. If we were 
in the hands of the Rangers the fate of the 
guides and refugees would be the hardest. I 
thought they might spare the lives of the offi- 
cers. "Who are you? What are you doing 

329 



The AJvenltires of Certain Prisoners 



here ? ' ' demanded the commander, riding up 
to us and scrutinizing our rags. I hesitated a 
moment, and then, throwing off the blanket I 
wore over my shoulders, simply said, " You 
can see what I am." My rags were the rags 
of a uniform, and spoke for themselves. 

Our captors proved to be a company of the 
2d Ohio Heavy Artillery, in pursuit of the ma- 
rauders into whose clutches we tliought we had 
fallen. The farmer on the gray mare was the 
guide of the expedition, and the two men uni- 
formed as rebel officers were Union scouts. 
The irreguler equipment of the animals, which 
had excited my suspicion most, as well as the 
animals themselves, had been hastily impressed 
from the country about the village of Loudon, 
where the 2d Ohio was stationed. On the fol- 
lowing evening, which was the 4th of March, 
the day of the second inauguration of Presi- 
dent Lincoln, we walked into Loudon and 
gladly surrendered ourselves to the outposts of 
the Ohio Heavy Artillery. 



330 



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